United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ocala Division
ALANA HANSHAW, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated Plaintiff,
VETERANS & MEDICAID PLANNING GROUP, PLLC and ERIC MILLHORN Defendants.
REPORT & RECOMMENDATION 
R. LAMMENS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) matter is
before the Court on the parties' joint motion for
approval of settlement. (Doc. 52). The Court must determine
whether the settlement between Plaintiff, Alana Hanshaw, and
Defendants, Veterans & Medicaid Planning Group, PLLC and
Eric Millhorn, 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.” 679 F.2d at
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.
parties participated in a mediation conference on May 9, 2019
and agreed to resolve their claims by settlement. (Doc. 51).
Defendant will pay a total of $35, 000, which includes 1)
$10, 00 for Plaintiff's alleged unpaid overtime, 2) $10,
000 in liquidated damages, and 3) $15, 000 in attorney's
fees and costs.
parties were represented by experienced counsel, and both the
terms and conditions of the parties' settlement were the
subject of arms-length negotiations between counsel. The
settlement amount was based on information learned through
the exchange of Plaintiff's statement of claim, pay
records, and time records. The parties have determined that
it is in their respective best interest to conclude the
dispute and issues alleged by a fair, full and complete
payment and satisfaction of the claims of Plaintiff, without
continuing this lawsuit. The parties agree that that the
settlement is fair and reasonable.
respect to the agreed-to sum for attorney's fee and
costs, the parties represent that they were negotiated
separately from Plaintiffs recovery. See Bonetti v.
Embarq Mgmt.Co., 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 for attorney's fees and costs
appears to be reasonable.
it is RECOMMENDED that the parties'
joint motion for approval of the settlement agreement be
GRANTED (Doc. 52), as it is a fair and
reasonable compromise of Plaintiffs FLS A claim.