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Walgreens Employees in California Secure $4.5 Million Wage Deal

Nov. 25, 2020, 5:00 PM

A $4.5 million settlement between Walgreens Co. and nearly 2,650 employees in California received preliminary approval from a federal judge in Sacramento, bringing the parties closer to resolving a class action over alleged state wage violations.

Participating class members will split $2.83 million under the deal, with each expected to receive an average payment of about $1,210 depending on how many weeks they worked during the relevant period.

Class counsel will get $1.5 million in attorneys’ fees plus $15,000 for costs. Lead plaintiff Lucas Mejia will also receive a $7,500 service award in recognition of the time he spent helping litigate the case.

Judge William B. Shubb also certified the class for settlement purposes, according to the order entered Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Mejia sued Walgreens in 2018 on behalf of other similarly situated employees under California’s Labor Code and Private Attorney Generals Act. He alleged Walgreens rounded down employees’ hours on their timecards, required them to undergo off-the-clock security checks before and after their shifts, and failed to pay premium wages for missed meal breaks.

The deal also allocates $150,000 in PAGA penalties and $35,000 for administration costs.

A final fairness hearing is scheduled for March 22, 2021.

Lavi & Ebrahimian LLP represents the class. Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP represents Walgreens.

The case is Mejia v. Walgreen Co., 2020 BL 458362, E.D. Cal., No. 2:19-cv-00218, 11/24/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen Dailey at kdailey@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Patrick L. Gregory at pgregory@bloomberglaw.com

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