Daily Labor Report® is the objective resource the nation’s foremost labor and employment professionals read and rely on, providing reliable, analytical coverage of top labor and employment...
May 9 — A federal judge granted approval to a $14 million deal between Merrill Lynch & Co. and participants in a training program on their Fair Labor Standards Act collective claims for allegedly unpaid wages.
The claimants had participated in the Merrill Lynch Practice Management Development Program, which was a five-stage program for financial adviser trainees.
In two consolidated cases, the Merrill Lynch trainees alleged the company violated the FLSA and state wage-and-hour laws by requiring workers in the “training stage” to work “off-the-clock” hours without pay and by misclassifying “development stage” trainees as exempt from overtime requirements.
The settlement agreement defined the FLSA collective members as individuals who worked for Merrill Lynch anywhere in the U.S. as a development stage or training stage trainee between Oct. 29, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2015.
“The Court finds that the settlement is fair and reasonable, is the product of arm's length negotiations after contested litigation, and resolves bona fide disputes,” Judge George B. Daniels of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said in an order entered May 6.
The court granted $4.67 million in attorneys’ fees and about $80,000 in litigation expenses to class counsel. The 10 named plaintiffs were each provided $10,000 service awards and several other participants were awarded $7,500 and $5,000 service payments for their respective contributions and risks taken in the matter.
Merrill Lynch denies the allegations but decided that continued litigation of the claims would be expensive and wouldn’t be an efficient use of management and employee time, according to the settlement agreement.
The case will be closed within 31 days of the order entry, unless there is an appeal, the court said. In that case, the matter will be dismissed two days after the final appeal is resolved.
Outten & Golden LLP and Shavitz Law Group PA represented the trainees. McGuire Woods LLP represented Merrill Lynch and parent company Bank of America Corp.
To contact the reporter on this story: Lisa Nagele-Piazza in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text of the order is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Blum_et_al_vMerrill_Lynch__Co_Inc_et_al_Docket_No_115cv01636_SDNY.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)