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Rosa v. Petersendean Roofing and Solar Systems

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division

March 23, 2018

STEPHANIE ROSA, Plaintiff,
v.
PETERSENDEAN ROOFING AND SOLAR SYSTEMS, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          DANIEL C. IRICK UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This cause comes before the Court for consideration without oral argument on the following motion:

MOTION: JOINT MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF FLSA SETTLEMENT AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE (Doc. 28)
FILED: January 19, 2018
THEREON it is RECOMMENDED that the motion be GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND.

         Plaintiff filed this action against Defendant alleging that she performed overtime work for Defendant, but Defendant failed to pay her time-and-a-half for all of the overtime hours she worked. Doc. 2 at ¶¶ 7-15. Thus, Plaintiff asserted the following claims against Defendant: Count I - unpaid overtime wages in violation of Florida Statute § 448.01; and Count II - unpaid overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 207. Id. at 3-6.

         The parties were unable to settlement the case during the settlement conference required by the FLSA Scheduling Order (Doc. 18), and, thus, the Court entered a Case Management Scheduling Order (Doc. 21), which permitted the parties to engage in full discovery. The parties eventually reached a settlement, and executed a settlement agreement (Agreement), in which they agreed that Plaintiff will receive $2, 200.00 in unpaid overtime wages, an equal amount in liquidated damages, $300.00 for a general release in Defendant's favor, $150.00 for a non-disparagement provision in Defendant's favor, $150.00 for a confidentiality provision in Defendant's favor, and $3, 000.00 in attorney fees and costs. Doc. 28-1 at 3-4.

         The parties filed a Joint Motion for Approval of FLSA Settlement and Order of Dismissal with Prejudice (Motion), as well as the executed Agreement. Docs. 28; 28-1. The parties argue that the Agreement constitutes a fair and reasonable resolution of Plaintiff s FLSA claim, and request that the Court grant the Motion and dismiss the case with prejudice. Doc. 28 at 8.

         II. LAW.

         The settlement of a claim for unpaid minimum or overtime wages under the FLSA may become enforceable by obtaining the Court's approval of the settlement agreement.[1] Lynn's Food Stores, Inc. v. U.S. Dep't of Labor, 679 F.2d 1350, 1352-53 (11th Cir. 1982). The Court, before giving its approval, must scrutinize the settlement agreement to determine whether it is a fair and reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute of plaintiff s FLSA claims. See Id. at 1353-55. In doing so, the Court should consider the following nonexclusive factors:

• The existence of collusion behind the settlement.
• The complexity, expense, and likely duration of the ...

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