Middle District Court of Pennsylvania Holds That the Settlement of Overtime Claims Under the Fair Labor Standards Act Requires Court Approval

On December 13, 2012, U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner issued an opinion concerning whether settlements of overtime claims in FLSA cases requires approval from either a district court or the Department of Labor to be binding. In Deitz v. Budget Innovations & Roofing, Inc., the Court concluded that such oversight was necessary, stating: “The undersigned concurs with the majority of courts who cite Lynn’s Food for the premise that bona fide disputes of FLSA claims may only be settled or compromised through payments made under the supervision of the Secretary of the Department of Labor or by judicial approval of a proposed settlement in a FLSA lawsuit. It is simply impossible to ensure that an agreement settles a bona fide factual dispute over the number of hours worked or the regular rate of employment in the absence of judicial review of the proposed settlement agreement.” 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177878, *12-14 (M.D. Pa. Dec. 13, 2012). Winebrake & Santillo had filed a brief at the Court’s request regarding whether FLSA settlements required Court approval.
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