The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that employers pay to employees minimum wage and overtime. When employers violate the FLSA’s requirements, employees may sue the employer to recover the unpaid wages. Since 2015 when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decided Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake House, courts have been required to scrutinize agreements settling FLSA cases. Courts generally looked at whether the agreement was fair and reasonable, including as to the amount of attorneys’ fees awarded.
The Cheeks case provided general guidelines about how Courts should review agreements, but uncertainty remained. Parties have continued to litigate the expansiveness of Cheeks and Judges have struggled to understand their roles. On February 4, 2020, Judge Chin, writing for the Second Circuit, issued a decision further clarifying court’s responsibilities concerning FLSA settlements. Today’s Long Island employment law blog discusses the decision in Fisher v. SD Protection Inc.
In Fisher, the employee was hired as a “chaperone,” responsible for monitoring the halls in a hotel when student tour groups stayed. As alleged by the employee, the employer failed to pay him overtime for the nine hours of overtime he worked per week. Additionally, the employer did not provide to him paystubs, in violation of New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA).