Federal Judge Commends Firm’s Work

“Knowledgeable,” “experienced,” an attorney who represented his client “zealously”; these are just some of the comments from United States Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman in describing the “caliber” of Long Island employment lawyer Matthew Weinick’s work at a recent settlement conference held before the judge.  On January 30, 2018, Judge Pitman issued an order approving the settlement for an unpaid wage case being defended by F&W.  The details are discussed below.

Long Island employment lawyers Famighetti & Weinick PLLC often represent workers who are not paid proper overtime or minimum wage.  But, we also defend employers in unpaid wage cases.

In this case, F&W represented a private school which provides instruction for nurses aides.  A former employee alleged, among other things, that the school did not pay her overtime for hours for worked above 40 in a week and that the school did not pay her at all for other hours worked.  At a conference before the presiding District Court Judge, Long Island employment lawyer Matthew Weinick presented a strong defense to the claims based on a recent case decided the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, New York’s federal appellate court.  The judge suggested that instead of spending time and money on a motion which may dismiss the case, the parties should meet with the magistrate judge to see if the case could be settled.

Accordingly, in early January 2018, Weinick and his client met with Magistrate Judge Pitman and with the plaintiff and her attorney.  The parties spent several hours meeting and discussing a resolution and ultimately reached an agreement.

Since the case was brought under the federal statute, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the court was required to approve the settlement reached by the parties, pursuant to the decision in Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake House.  On January 30, 2018, Judge Pitman issued his order approving the settlement.  In deciding whether to approve an FLSA settlement, courts look at the fairness of the settlement.  Judge Pitman held that there was a presumption of fairness which was “bolstered by the caliber of the parties’ attorneys,” including Weinick.  Judge Pitman further noted that:

Based on their pre-conference submissions and their performance at the settlement conference, it is clear to me that all parties are represented by counsel who are knowledgeable regarding all issues in the case and who are well suited to assess the risks of litigation and the benefits of the proposed settlement.

Judge Pitman also stated that “both counsel represented their clients zealously at the settlement conference.”

At Famighetti & Weinick, PLLC we’re honored that Judge Pitman had such a great review of our work on the case.  We will continue to advocate zealously for our clients and to strive for stellar performance in all aspects of our work.

If you have questions about the FLSA, overtime, minimum wage, or any other employment law questions, contact a Long Island employment lawyer at Famighetti & Weinick, PLLC at 631-352-0050.

Southern District of New York

Southern District of New York

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