United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
D. LONG, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
EPIC SYSTEMS CORPORATION, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM M. CONLEY District Judge
D. Long brought this lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards
Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219, and Wisconsin
overtime compensation laws, contending that defendant Epic
Systems Corporation misclassified her and other technical
writers as exempt from the requirements of those laws. The
court certified a collective action under 29 U.S.C. §
216(b) with respect to plaintiff's FLSA claim; plaintiff
did not seek to represent a class with respect to her state
law claims. Dkt. #102.
parties have filed what they call a stipulation of dismissal
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 41, presumably because the parties have
settled the case. (In documents filed in a companion case,
the parties stated that “on September 22, 2016, the
parties reached a settlement in principle in the
Long matter.” Lewis v. Epic Systems
Corporation, No. 15-cv-82-bbc (W.D. Wis.), dkt. #95 at
2-3.) While this submission moots the necessity of a status
conference scheduled for this Wednesday, January 11, 2017,
this court has generally required court approval for any
settlement of a collective action under the FLSA.
E.g., Armstrong v. Wasatch Home Services,
LLC, No. 12-cv-199-wmc (W.D. Wis.). In particular,
the court has adopted the view that it must review the
settlement to make sure that its terms and conditions
represent “a fair and reasonable resolution of a bona
fide dispute over FLSA provisions” and reflect a
“compromise of disputed issues [rather] than a mere
waiver of statutory rights brought about by an employer's
overreaching.” Lynn's Food Stores, Inc. v. U.S.
Dept. of Labor, 679 F.2d 1350, 1354-55 (11th Cir. 1982);
see also Walton v. United Consumers Club, 786 F.2d
303, 306 (7th Cir. 1986) (explaining the reason why court
approval is necessary in FLSA settlements).
parties' one-page stipulation of dismissal provides no
basis for assessing the fairness of the settlement. As such,
the court orders the parties to submit the following
1) representations, either stipulated or submitted separately
by the parties, as to the nature of the parties' dispute
and efforts to resolve the dispute;
2) the method used to calculate the settlement amount
proposed for each opt-in plaintiff; and
3) the proposed fee award, if any, and the actual time and
expense records for plaintiffs' counsel in this matter.
ORDERED that the status conference scheduled for January 11,
2017, is STRICKEN. Instead, the parties shall submit the
requested information detailed above in support of their
settlement by January 24, ...