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Aramark Settles Labor Dispute for $2.75 Million

(CN) - A federal judge approved a $2.75 million settlement stemming from labor charges brought against Aramark Uniform Services Inc.

Martha Morazan, who worked for Aramark between November 2005 and May 2012, led the class accusing the uniform manufacturer of having denied overtime pay to 3,175 nonexempt, hourly employees at more than 20 facilities throughout California. The suit, filed over two years ago in Alameda County Superior Court, also claimed that the company refused employees meal and rest breaks in violation of state and federal law, including the California Business & Professions Code and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Specifically, Morazan claimed that the company engaged in a practice of rounding "clock-in and clock-out" times to the nearest quarter hour before calculating total hours worked, in favor of Aramark.

The lawsuit was quickly removed to federal court in Oakland, Calif., where the paries entered mediation. After Aramark provided informal discovery in late 2012 and early 2013, the parties reached a preliminary settlement the following March.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted the deal final approval on Nov. 15, allocating $687,500 of the $2.75 million settlement to attorneys' fees, more than $10,000 for litigation expenses and $30,000 to the Garden City Group, the claims administrator, for costs and expenses.

"The court finds that the settlement agreement is fair, reasonable and adequate in all respects, is not collusive, is the product of good faith, arm's-length negotiations between the parties and fully complies with all applicable provisions of law," Rogers wrote.

David Sohn, in San Francisco, and David Borgen and Laura Ho of Goldstein Borgen Dardarian & Ho, in Oakland, represent the plaintiff.

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