A New York City condominium agreed to pay $912,500 to 35 service staff members – all of which claimed they were paid based on their scheduled shifts regardless of the actual time they worked.
U.S. District Judge Vernon S. Broderick signed off on the deal this week, ending the 2020 class action that alleged the Monarch Condominium and its property manager Lasala Management Inc. denied workers straight and overtime pay in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law.
Judge Broderick claimed, “The court finds that the settlement is rationally related to the strength of plaintiff’s claims given the risk, expense, complexity, and duration of further litigation.”
The workers were led by plaintiff, Emanuel Preldakaj, who asked the court in a March 9th motion to give the settlement the final green light after judge Broderick preliminarily approved the deal in November 2021.
The deal was agreed upon after three mediation sessions and will include $304,167 in attorney fees; $3,806 in litigation costs; a $12,012 payment to the settlement administrator; and a $10,000 service award to Preldakaj, Judge Broderick said.
The bulk of the dispute stems from a lawsuit filed by Preldakaj in November 2020, which alleged that during his employment as a doorman, he was not compensated for all the time he had worked – including pre and post shift work and work he performed during his meal breaks.
Preldakaj also alleged that he and other workers were required to work on their days off.
The parties agreed to stay the suit pending the mandatory mediation required by the class members’ bargaining agreement.
Following several mediation sessions, the workers and Monarch were finally able to strike a deal with the settlement agreement in April 2021.