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Mungen v. Loyal Source Government Services, LLC

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

April 6, 2018

FREDDIE MUNGEN, CHRISTIAN MATTILA, and KEVIN BERRIOS, Plaintiffs,
v.
LOYAL SOURCE GOVERNMENT SERVICES, LLC, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          GREGORY J. KELLY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This cause came on for consideration without oral argument on the following motion:

MOTION: PARTIES' RENEWED JOINT MOTION AND
MEMORANDUM OF LAW FOR APPROVAL OF SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT (Doc. No. 40)
FILED:March 14, 2018
THEREON it is RECOMMENDED that the motion be GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND.

         On March 2, 2017, Plaintiff Freddie Mungen filed a collective action complaint against Defendant, alleging that it violated the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 207(a). Doc. No. 1. Subsequently, Kevin Berrios and Christian Mattila joined the litigation as party plaintiffs. Doc. Nos. 12, 25. On March 14, 2018, the parties filed a Renewed Joint Motion and Memorandum of Law for Approval of Settlement Agreement (the “Motion”) requesting that the Court approve their settlement agreement (the “Agreement”) and dismiss the case with prejudice.[1] Doc. No. 40.

         II. LAW.

         In Lynn's Food Stores, Inc. v. United States Department of Labor, 679 F.2d 1350, 1352-53 (11th Cir. 1982), the Eleventh Circuit addressed the means by which an FLSA settlement may become final and enforceable:

There are only two ways in which back wage claims arising under the FLSA can be settled or compromised by employees. First, under section 216(c), the Secretary of Labor is authorized to supervise payment to employees of unpaid wages owed to them . . . . 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.

         Thus, unless the parties have the Secretary of Labor supervise the payment of unpaid wages owed or obtain the Court's approval of the settlement agreement, the parties' agreement is unenforceable. Id.; see also Sammons v. Sonic-North Cadillac, Inc., No. 6:07-cv-277-Orl-19DAB, 2007 WL 2298032, at *5 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 7, 2007) (noting that settlement of FLSA claim in arbitration proceeding is not enforceable under Lynn's Food because it lacked Court approval or supervision by the Secretary of Labor). Before approving an FLSA settlement, the Court must scrutinize it to determine if it is a fair and reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute. Lynn's Food Store, 679 F.2d at 1354-55. If the settlement reflects a reasonable compromise over issues that are actually in dispute, the Court may approve the settlement. Id. at 1354.

         In determining whether the settlement is fair and reasonable, the Court ...


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