March 29, 2019 – The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota has approved a collective action settlement between Thomson Reuters d/b/a FindLaw and its FindLaw Account Managers. After months of negotiation, FindLaw agreed to pay a settlement of $225,000.00 to current and former FindLaw Account Managers who claimed the company misclassified them as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Wanta Thome PLC served as Plaintiffs’ and class counsel.
In January 2018, Thomson Reuters reclassified Account Managers from FLSA-exempt (earning no overtime wages) to non-exempt (overtime wages earned with manager approval). Thomson Reuters then voluntarily paid Account Managers backpay for self-reported overtime hours worked in the prior two years at a rate of one-half of their regular rate of pay. In Johnson, Plaintiffs argued that this payment was insufficient under the FLSA and that Thomson Reuters was calculating their backpay under the mistaken belief that the fluctuating workweek rule applies instead. Specifically, Plaintiffs found Thomson Reuters’ payment insufficient for three reasons under the FLSA: (1) it does not included liquidated damages, (2) the overtime premium pay due to Account Managers is 1.5 times the regular rate of pay, and (3) Account Managers are entitled to a regular rate of pay that included non-discretionary performance bonuses.
The settlement reached in this case appropriately compensates each Plaintiff with payment that represents liquidated damages for their self-reported overtime hours at their regular rate of pay (including non-discretionary incentive payments). The settlement was approved on March 19, 2019 by US District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz and payments were mailed to eligible plaintiffs on March 27, 2019.