Wendy’s Agrees to Settle California Labor Suit For $1.5 Million

The law firm of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob represented a class action lawsuit against Wendy’s International Inc., claiming the popular fast food chain denied employees meal and rest breaks. Douglas N. Silverstein and Michael G. Jacob of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob and Alan Burton Newman of Alan Burton Newman PLC represented the class of nearly 9,000 California employees in order to resolve the wage-and-hour suit.

A federal judge, Margaret M. Morrow of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, preliminary approved a $1.5 million settlement between the parties. The settlement proposes different fund allocations to workers with different titles.

The class action lawsuit included employees designated as Crew Members, Shift Supervisors, Shift Supervisors-Part Time, Shift Supervisors-in-Training, Assistant Managers, Assistant Managers-in-Training, Co-Managers and General Managers-in-Training. Urging the court to approve the settlement, plaintiffs filed a motion that in case of absence of the settlement the claims of many of the plaintiffs would be time-barred.

Elliott Lewis, a Wendy’s employee, filed the original lawsuit against Wendy’s in the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles in August 2009. According to court documents, Lewis claimed the fast food chain failed to provide hourly employees with meal and rest breaks and refused to pay premium wages for those not supplied meal and rest breaks. Lewis further alleged that the company did not provide accurate wage statements to employees.

Wendy has removed the case to federal court in October 2009. While Wendy has agreed to settle the lawsuit, the company denies Lewis’ claims. The settlement of $1.5 million will create a common-fund, inclusive of attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses, a service payment to the class representative and claims administration costs.

Douglas Silverstein said, “The settlement strikes a balance between putting wages in the hands of the class members and the risk of continuing to litigate.”

“While the matter has been aggressively litigated by both plaintiffs and defense counsel, everyone always conducted themselves in a professional manner, and that helped us to find common ground and reach something that was in the best interest of all parties,” continues Silverstein’s statement about the lawsuit settlement.



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