Cision US Inc. and sales representatives who say it deliberately cheated them out of overtime pay can settle their wage-and-hour dispute for $325,000 after a federal judge in New York signed off on the deal.
The public relations software firm allegedly ran afoul of federal and state wage laws by failing to appropriately pay sales representatives who worked overtime. Each worker’s net recovery represents about 30% of their alleged unpaid wages, in line with what other judges have deemed fair, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York said.
The workers estimated their lost wages at around $515,000. They’ll get at least $187,000 combined from the settlement, with the rest going to attorneys’ fees and other costs, Judge Lewis J. Liman said July 29. The deal’s structure ensures each worker’s recovery will be tied to the number of weeks they worked, “making the agreement fair individually as well as collectively.”
The settlement includes service awards of up to $10,000 each for the three named plaintiffs, who “all incurred personal risks in speaking out against allegedly unlawful employment practices and being ‘blacklisted’ in the profession,” the opinion said.
Outten & Golden LLP, counsel for the workers, asked for one third of the settlement—about $108,000—in attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of more than $24,000 in litigation costs. Records the firm submitted show the attorneys “spent over 3,000 hours on this case and would have charged fees of over $1.3 million in the absence of a contingency-fee arrangement,” Liman said.
“The Court personally observed the diligence of counsel during the time that this case was litigated” and is satisfied that the fee request is “reasonable and appropriate,” the opinion said. Liman also approved the cost reimbursement request.
ArentFox Schiff LLP represents Cision, which denies violating wage-and-hour laws.
The case is Mikityuk v. Cision US Inc., 2022 BL 264801, S.D.N.Y., No. 1:21-cv-00510, settlement approved 7/29/22.