$3 Million Settlement in Labor Class Action

     DALLAS (CN) – Phone book publisher SuperMedia will pay $3 million to settle a nationwide class action accusing it of making employees work off the clock.
     Lead plaintiff Byron Jones sued the Dallas-based company in 2011 in Federal Court under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
     The class included up to 1,700 current and former employees who worked at SuperMedia between Jan. 1, 2010, and June 18, 2012.
     The parties filed a joint motion for settlement approval on Oct. 24.
     They settled before the court ruled on SuperMedia’s February motion to decertify the class. The company claimed the 314 plaintiffs who opted in were not similarly situated and that no nationwide policy allowed or encouraged off-the-clock work or unpaid overtime.
     “SuperMedia further argued that decertification was required because defenses individual to each plaintiff precluded collective treatment,” the motion stated. “The parties resolved the matter before the court ruled on SuperMedia’s motion, and the uncertainty regarding the court’s eventual ruling was considered by the parties as part of the settlement.”
     Under the agreement, each plaintiff will receive approximately $5,848 after attorneys’ fees. The plaintiffs’ attorneys with Oberti Sullivan in Houston and Baron & Budd in Dallas will receive a 40 percent contingency fee.
     The parties said the settlement was the “result of vigorous arm’s length settlement negotiations” that were “complicated and hard fought.”
     “Given the vagaries of the plaintiffs’ claimed time, the difficulties inherent in establishing off-the-clock time worked by any method of exact precision, and the difficulties of asking jurors to determine the number of hours worked by plaintiffs on a person-by-person basis for a three-year period of time, the parties agree that this is a fair and efficient method of calculating each named plaintiff and opt-in member’s pro rata share of the settlement funds,” the motion states.
     Known for its Superpages phone directories, SuperMedia became Dex Media in 2013 after a merger with Dex One Corp. Dex Media could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

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