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Emiroglu v. A & B Restaurant, LLC

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

May 23, 2018

OSMAN BURAK EMIROGLU, Plaintiff,
v.
A & B RESTAURANT, LLC and ISKENDER EREN YILMAZ, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          DANIEL C. IRICK UNITES STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This cause comes before the Court for consideration following oral argument on the following motion:

MOTION: JOINT MOTION TO APPROVE SETTLEMENT (Doc. 19)
FILED: April 27, 2018
THEREON it is Recommended that the motion be GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On November 22, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendants alleging a cause of action for alleged violations of the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (the FLSA). Doc. 1. On December 21, 2017, Defendants filed their Answer and Affirmative Defenses. Doc. 9. On February 19, 2018, Plaintiff filed a response to the Court's interrogatories. Docs. 16; 16-1. Therein, Plaintiff alleged that Defendants owed him approximately $5, 896.80 in overtime wages for the period from September 2014 through September 2017, but those answers also acknowledged that Defendants asserted that they purchased the business at issue in July 2017, and that Plaintiff only worked for Defendants for a few weeks in 2017. Doc. 16-1.

         On April 27, 2018, the parties filed a joint motion to approve settlement and therein informed the Court that the parties “did not prepare or execute a Settlement Agreement and Release.” Docs. 19 (the Motion). The Court held a hearing on the Motion to determine the exact terms of the settlement agreement and discuss the issue of attorney fees. At the hearing, the parties confirmed that this matter has been settled via an oral settlement agreement (the Agreement). The only terms of the Agreement are as follows: Plaintiff has agreed to dismiss this case with prejudice in exchange for payment of $600.00 in overtime wages and $600.00 in liquidated damages. According to the parties, this represents full compensation for the few weeks that Plaintiff worked for Defendants. Defendants have also agreed to pay Plaintiff's counsel $800.00 in attorney fees and costs and, according to the parties, the issue of attorney fees was negotiated separate and apart from the amount owed Plaintiff. The parties confirmed at the hearing that the Agreement contains no other terms, and it appears that the Agreement was negotiated in this manner in an effort to minimize costs to all sides and provide Plaintiff with full compensation for the overtime he worked for Defendants.

         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 litigation.
.The state of the proceedings and the amount of discovery ...

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