Regional branches of Enterprise Holdings Inc. will pay $7.8 million to settle claims by a class of former assistant managers that the rental car company breached the Fair Labor Standards Act when it illegally exempted them from being paid overtime, according to a deal signed by a Pennsylvania federal judge Wednesday.
The deal settles a consolidated group of eight collective and class actions that claimed Enterprise knew the assistant managers of its stores were working longer than 40 hours a week, but did not pay them overtime.
“Plaintiffs and the other similarly situated persons in the assistant manager class regularly work overtime hours, including, but not limited to, being subject to a practice or policy of Enterprise of misclassifying Plaintiffs and the members of the asserted class as exempt from the FLSA,” the class alleged in a complaint filed in Arizona in January 2011.
Enterprise agreed to pay the workers on the condition that all the workers who qualify as members of the class drop their claims, according to the settlement.
Each class member will be compensated out of the pool of funds, which also includes the attorneys’ fees, according to a settlement agreement filed in Pittsburgh on August 14. Class members may receive up to $50,000, depending on how many unpaid long weeks they worked during the class period, according to the settlement.
In a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement, the parties cited the costs of the ongoing litigation and the difficulty of obtaining class certification as reasons for agreeing to end the dispute. Enterprise said it denied any liability or wrongdoing and said the company presented substantial evidence supporting its choice to classify its employees as exempt under the FLSA.
As part of the pact, Enterprise said it would use its best efforts to assign assistant branch managers to regional branches where they will regularly direct the work of at least two or more full-time employees. The company said it also will make efforts to ensure those employees’ tasks will be related to managerial work.
The case is Nicholas Hickton et al. v. Enterprise Rent-a-Car Co. et al., case number 2:11-cv-00333.
Categories: Employment Class Action