United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
C. IRICK UNITES STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
cause comes before the Court for consideration without oral
argument on the following motion:
MOTION: SECOND AMENDED JOINT MOTION TO APPROVE SETTLEMENT
AGREEMENT (Doc. 29)
FILED: January 10, 2017
THEREON it is RECOMMENDED that the motion be GRANTED in part
and DENIED in part.
5, 2016, Plaintiff instituted this action against Defendants
alleging causes of action under the Fair Labor Standards Act
(the FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 255, for minimum wage
violations, and under Florida common law for unpaid wages.
Doc. 1. In his verified answers to the Court's
interrogatories, Plaintiff alleged that Defendants owed him a
total of $3, 118.96, excluding liquidated damages, fees, and
costs. Doc. 16 at 2. Plaintiff filed a Notice of Settlement
on September 12, 2016. Doc. 22.
September 21, 2016, the parties filed a Joint Motion to
Approve Settlement Agreement (the Original Motion), to which
the parties attached their settlement agreement (the Original
Settlement Agreement). Doc. 24. On November 23, 2016, the
Court denied the Original Motion because, among other things,
the Original Settlement Agreement included language that was
overly broad and susceptible to an interpretation foreclosing
Plaintiff from bringing causes of action wholly unrelated to
the wage claims at issue in this case. Doc. 26. Specifically,
the Court was concerned with the following language:
“Plaintiff shall not initiate or instigate any future
judicial or administrative proceedings against the Defendants
that in any way involve allegations or facts arising from the
hours worked during his employment with the Defendants in any
forum as of the date of execution of this Agreement.”
Docs. 24 at 6; 26. The Court ordered the parties to either
remove the language or amend it to limit the scope of the
release to claims for unpaid wages. Doc. 26.
December 9, 2016, the parties filed an Amended Joint Motion
to Approve Settlement Agreement (the Amended Motion). Doc.
27. However, the parties failed to attach a copy of the
proposed amended settlement agreement to the Amended Motion.
Id. Without a copy of the proposed amended
settlement agreement, the Court was unable to determine if
the parties had complied with the Court's November 23,
2016 Order. See Doc. 26. Thus, on December 21, 2016,
the Court denied the Amended Motion and ordered the parties
to file a second amended motion.Doc. 28.
January 10, 2017, the parties filed a Second Amended Joint
Motion to Approve Settlement Agreement (the Second Amended
Motion), to which the parties attached their amended
settlement agreement (the Amended Settlement Agreement). Doc.
29. The Amended Settlement Agreement contained the exact same
language that the Court had previously ordered the parties to
remove or amend. Docs. 24 at 6; 26-1 at 3; 29.
FLSA settlement to be final and enforceable, the parties must
obtain the Court's approval of the settlement agreement.
See Lynn's Food Stores, Inc. v. United States
Dep't of Labor, 679 F.2d 1350, 1352-53 (11th Cir.
1982). Before giving its approval, the Court must scrutinize
the settlement agreement to determine whether it is a fair
and reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute.
Id. at 1353-55. In doing so, the Court should
consider the following factors:
(1) the existence of collusion behind the settlement;
(2) the complexity, expense, and likely duration of the