T-Mobile Wage Class Settlement Gets Tentative Nod

Feb. 11, 2019, 5:17 PM

T-Mobile USA Inc. and California workers got tentative approval of a $980,000 class settlement resolving alleged wage and hour violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted preliminarily approval of a settlement covering all T-Mobile employees who have worked as non-exempt, hourly-paid field technicians in California since Feb. 1, 2013.

Around 200 class members each would receive about $2,970, according to the court.

Jesse Black alleged he and others were denied overtime compensation and minimum wage. He also alleged meal and rest break violations. He challenged T-Mobile’s “on-call” policy that he said required them to be available to take calls and didn’t allow them to use the time for their own purposes.

T-Mobile required all field technicians to work on-call shifts in addition to their normally scheduled shifts, according to the motion for settlement approval.

The company paid the technicians a flat stipend of $24.57 to be on-call from 5 p.m. to 7:59 a.m. the following day when their next scheduled shift began, the motion said. Thus field technicians were paid less than $25 to be available for 15 hours, it said.

They should have been compensated for all the “on call” hours because they were under T-Mobile’s control, Black alleged.

The settlement includes an estimated $594,580 to pay class members; $10,000 for administrative costs; and a payment of $18,750 to the Labor Workforce Development Agency under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004.

The settlement also calls for attorneys’ fees not to exceed one third of the settlement fund ($326,667); costs not to exceed $20,000; and an incentive award for Black not to exceed $10,000.

Capstone Law APC was appointed plaintiffs’ class counsel. Littler Mendelson, P.C. represented T-Mobile.

The case is Black v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., N.D. Cal., No. 17-04151, 2/8/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Steinberg in Washington at jsteinberg@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com; C. Reilly Larson at rlarson@bloomberglaw.com

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