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Hartley v. Home Depot USA Inc.

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

August 21, 2019

DAVID HARTLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
HOME DEPOT USA INC., 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 SETTLEMENT AND DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE (Doc. 29)
FILED: August 16, 2019
THEREON it is RECOMMENDED that the motion be GRANTED.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff brought this purported collective action against Defendant for failure to pay overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Doc. 1. The parties subsequently filed a joint motion to approve their settlement, to which they attached their settlement agreement. Docs. 29 (the Motion); 29-1 (the Agreement). Under the Agreement, Plaintiff will receive $28.00 in unpaid wages, $28.00 in liquidated damages, and $8, 021.68 in attorney fees and costs. Doc. 29-1. The parties argue that the Agreement represents full compensation for all of Plaintiff's unpaid wages and, thus, the Court need not conduct a reasonableness review. Doc. 29. Nevertheless, the parties request approval of the Agreement and argue that the Agreement is a fair and reasonable resolution of Plaintiff s FLSA claims, and the parties request that the Court grant the Motion and dismiss the case with prejudice. Doc. 29.

         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). Before approving an FLSA settlement, the Court 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 completed.
• The probability of plaintiff s success on ...

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