This Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime pay case, filed in the Northern District of Ohio on behalf of former and current mortgage loan officers, has been settled. On October 19, 2012, U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster finally approved the settlement, approved payment to all individuals who filed claims in the case, approved the service payments to the named and representative plaintiffs and approved the payment of attorneys’ fees and costs.
On or about November 2, 2012, settlement checks will be issued by the Settlement Administrator – Rust Consulting, Inc. If you made a timely claim in the case and you have not received your check by mid-November, please contact the Settlement Administrator, at the address and phone number below:
Habenicht v. KeyCorp Settlement Administrator
Rust Consulting, Inc.
P.O. Box 2396
Faribault, MN 55021-9096
Toll Free Telephone No.: 1-866-254-1484
(Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Central Time)
If a class member moves or has moved since filing their claim form, updated contact information should be presented to the Settlement Administrator promptly.
The case claimed that Key’s loan officers worked off the clock and that Key knew or should have known of the practice. The case charged that Key pressured employees not to record hours over forty in a work week, though it knew that they were required to work more hours than they reported. The off the clock work caused loan officers to suffer loss of overtime pay at the rate of time and one half. The case also charged that Key failed to reimburse loan officers for the work expenses that they bore for Key to the extent that these expenses brought loan officers’ pay below minimum wage.
Settlement Approved! – Posted 10-21-12
Tentative Settlement Reached- Posted 7-19-12
The parties have reached a tentative settlement and the settlement has been preliminarily approved by the Court. A final fairness hearing will be held by Judge Polster on October 19, 2012, at noon, in Courtroom 18B, Carl B. Stokes United States Court House, 801 West Superior Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44113-1837. If the settlement is approved, the payout of each class members’ settlement share should occur in early December 2012.
Stay of Case to Discuss Settlement – Posted 1-23-12
The parties have reached an agreement to exchange documents and information with the goal of conducting a mediation to settle the case within the next three months. Both sides will present the blueprint to Judge Polster at a scheduling conference to be held today. Click here to read the proposed agreement. The agreement does many things: it stays motion practice in the case, so the parties can focus on reaching an agreement, it identifies what information will be exchanged by both sides, it “tolls the statute of limitation” for members of the class, so that they are not harmed by any delay caused by the settlement process, it outlines the process and timeline for jointly selecting a neutral mediator. The agreement was reached through hard bargaining by both sides, but reflects an understanding that a settlement ought to be in both sides interest.
Initial Conference Held With the Court – Posted 1-12-12
The parties held an initial conference with Judge Polster on 12/20/11. At that conference the Judge indicated that the case would not proceed as both a class and collective action, unless the parties both agreed to do so. Since that time, lawyers for both sides have been discussing a mechanism for reaching a settlement of the case that would allow the case to proceed as a class and collective action. The next conference with the Court is scheduled for 1/23/12, and the parties hope to present an agreement with respect to how the case will go forward at that time.
Complaint Filed – Posted 12/2/11
The document which begins a lawsuit is called a “complaint.” Plaintiffs have now filed a complaint in this case with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Click here to review the complaint that has been filed in court.
Answers to Common Questions – Posted 11/18/11
What claims are covered in this case?
The complaint covers claims for overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) . The specific violations claimed are that the Defendants failed to pay overtime wages to its loan officers and failed to reimburse mortgage loan officers for the business expenses they bore on Key’s behalf.
What damages are sought?
Damages sought under the FLSA include back minimum and overtime wages, an equal amount of liquidated damages, interest, and fees and costs for each violation. Damages for the state law claims include back minimum wage and overtime pay, recovery of illegal deductions and unreimbursed business expenses, liquidated damages, interest, and fees and costs.
The FLSA provides for liquidated damages in an amount equal to the back pay owed and allows claims going back three years from when someone affirmatively joins the case by filing a Consent to Sue. You must send us a signed Consent to Sue to bring your federal wage and hour claims in this action.
How far back can claims be made?
Under the FLSA, you are entitled to make claims for the period extending back three years from the date your Consent To Sue Form is filed in Court. Key will be entitled to argue that its violations were not willful and that its claims should only be limited to a two-year period preceding the filing of your Consent to Sue. This two or three year period is called the “statute of limitation.”
The state contract claims have different statutes of limitations.
How do I join the case?
To bring claims under the FLSA for back wages and an equal amount of liquidated damages in this action, you must affirmatively join the case by filing a Consent to Arbitrate (1.2.1 Consent to Arb Form.pdf 9KB).
Do I have to pay to join the case?
No. The attorneys representing plaintiffs are Getman & Sweeney, PLLC and we are handling this case on a contingent basis and will only be paid when we win through a settlement or final judgment.
Can I wait to file my Consent to Sue form?
You are not part of the FLSA case until your Consent to Sue Form is returned to the plaintiffs’ attorneys and filed. If you delay in filing the consent to sue, part or all of your claim may be barred by the statute of limitations.
Can KeyCorp fire me or take action against me for joining the case?
The law prohibits retaliation for joining an overtime lawsuit. If any employee suffers retaliation, Waterstone would be liable for at least double the injury caused to the employee, and possibly much more. Notify us immediately if you think any retaliation occurs. Retaliation is rare in overtime cases, because an employer can suffer such serious penalties.
What work locations are covered by this lawsuit?
The FLSA claims in this lawsuit cover every worksite nationwide in the U.S.A. If you worked for Defendant Waterstone anywhere in the country, you can bring FLSA claims in this case.
Request for Information
Dan Getman of Getman Sweeney represents the plaintiffs.
The firm’s address is:
Getman & Sweeney PLLC,
9 Paradies Lane,
New Paltz, New York 12561
Phone: (845) 255-9370
James P. Langendorf
Langendorf Law Firm
1081 N. University Blvd., Suite A
Middletown, Ohio 45042