United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ocala Division
DYLAN FRACASSE, Individually and on behalf of others similarly situated Plaintiff,
AMERIGAS PROPANE, INC. Defendant.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION 
R.LAMMENS United States Magistrate Judge
referral, this Fair Labor Standards Act matter is before the
Court on the parties' Joint Motion for Approval of
Settlement Agreement. (Doc. 41). Thus, the Court must
determine whether the settlement is a “fair and
reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute” over Fair
Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) issues. See
Lynn's Food Stores, Inc. v. United States,
679 F.2d 1350, 1354-55 (11th Cir. 1982).
settlement is not one supervised by the Department of Labor,
the only other route for compromise of FLSA claims is
provided in the context of suits brought directly by
employees against their employer under section 216(b) to
recover back wages for FLSA violations. “When employees
bring a private action for back wages under the FLSA, and
present to the district court a proposed settlement, the
district court may enter a stipulated judgment after
scrutinizing the settlement for fairness.” Id.
at 1353 (citing Schulte, Inc. v. Gangi, 328 U.S.
108, 113 n.8 (1946)).
Eleventh Circuit has held that “[s]ettlements may be
permissible in the context of a suit brought by employees
under the FLSA for back wages because initiation of the
action by the employees provides some assurance of an
adversarial context.” Id. at 1354. In
The employees are likely to be represented by an attorney who
can protect their rights under the statute. Thus, when the
parties submit a settlement to the court for approval, the
settlement is more likely to reflect a reasonable compromise
of disputed issues than a mere waiver of statutory rights
brought about by an employer's overreaching. If a
settlement in an employee FLSA suit does reflect a reasonable
compromise over issues, such as FLSA coverage or computation
of back wages that are actually in dispute; we allow the
district court to approve the settlement in order to promote
the policy of encouraging settlement of litigation.
the parties' proposed Settlement Agreement (Doc. 41-1),
Defendant will pay a total sum of $75, 000.00 to resolve this
matter, to include the following: (1) $4, 625.00 to Alfredo
Anderson, $1, 500.00 to Christopher Bilbro, $11, 250.00 to
Dylan Fracasse, $5, 125.00 to George Medina, and $5, 000.00
to Yvan Mejia, minus applicable withholdings, attributable to
wages; (2) the same respective amounts for liquidated damages
and penalties associated with Plaintiffs' FLSA claims;
(3) additional consideration totaling $5, 000.00 ($1, 000.00
to each Plaintiff), which together with Defendant's
neutral reference covenant, is designated as additional,
separate consideration for the general release, the
confidentiality, the no-reemployment, and the
non-disparagement provisions; and (4) $15, 000.00 to
Plaintiffs' counsel for attorney's fees and costs.
(Doc. 41-1 at ¶3). The parties, who were represented by
counsel, agree that this is a fair and reasonable settlement
and “will satisfy in full [Plaintiffs'] alleged
damages under FLSA.” (Doc. 41 at 3).
the general release, the confidentiality provision, the
no-reemployment provision, and the non-disparagement
provision (Doc. 41-1 at ¶¶4, 5, 11, 13, 14), I
submit that these provisions do not render this agreement
unreasonable. These provisions are supported by separate
consideration (Doc. 41-1 at ¶3.4), along with
Defendant's neutral reference covenant (Doc. 41-1 at
¶14.2). See Weldon v. Blackwoods Steakhouse,
Inc., No. 6:14-cv-79-Orl-37TBS, 2014 WL 4385593, at *1
(M.D. Fla. Sept. 4, 2014) (approving settlement containing
general release and non-disparagement agreement where the
plaintiff received full compensation of FLSA claim and
$100.00 in additional consideration for same); Smith v.
Aramark Corp., No. 6:14-cv-409-Orl-22KRS, 2014 WL
5690488, at *4 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 4, 2014) (approving FLSA
settlement agreement where plaintiff received full
compensation and additional consideration for general
release, confidentiality, and non-disparagement agreement);
Middleton v. Sonic Brands L.L.C., No.
6:13-CV-386-ORL-18, 2013 WL 4854767, at *3 (M.D. Fla. Sept.
10, 2013) (when “substantial consideration” is
paid to plaintiff beyond the amount arguably due under the
FLSA, a general release “does not render the settlement
unfair or unreasonable”).
respect to the agreed-to sum for attorney's fee and
costs, the parties represent that they were negotiated
separately from Plaintiffs' recovery. (Doc. 41 at 4;
see Bonetti v. Embarq Mgmt.Co., Case No.:
6:07-cv-1335, 2009 WL 2371407 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 4, 2009)).
Under the circumstances, I submit that the amount of $15,
000.00 for attorney's fees and costs appears to be
and upon due consideration, I RECOMMEND that
the Court GRANT the parties' joint
motion for approval of the settlement agreement (Doc. 41), as
it is a fair ...