California Class Tossed in Agilysis Overtime Case

     (CN) – A federal judge refused to certify a class of California workers for a $1.5 million settlement with software developer Agilysis but approved the nationwide class.
     Six individuals sued the Georgia-based company in San Jose, Calif., in July 2012.
     The “installation specialists” – Terrell Jones, Michael Johnson, Derrick Paige, Wilfredo Betancourt, Yolanda McBrayer and Michael Pierson – said Agilysis misclassified them as exempt employees, and as a result, failed to pay overtime wages as required by state and federal laws.
     The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in August 2012, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act on behalf of a nationwide class and violations of the California Labor Code on behalf of a California class.
     In early 2013, the parties mediated the dispute before attorney Mark Rudy.
     Though they failed to reach a settlement at mediation, Rudy subsequently presented a settlement proposal, which both sides accepted in March.
     Terms call for Agilysis to pay a gross settlement amount of about $1.5 million, which would include attorneys’ fees of no more than $375,000, about $25,000 in litigation costs, class-representative payments of up to $5,000 for each named plaintiff, $16,500 in administration expenses to Rust Consulting Inc., and a $25,000 Private Attorney General Act payment to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency.
     An estimated 131 total current and former employees may qualify for the lawsuit. Of that number, 117 individuals are and were employed outside of California, and 14 are and were employed in the Golden State.
     U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown partly certified the class Thursday.
     “In the instant case, plaintiffs have adequately demonstrated that the potential collective action members were subject to the same policy that resulted in Agilysis’ failure to pay them wages to which they were lawfully entitled under the FLSA,” the eight-page ruling states, abbreviating Fair Labor Standards Act.
     “Accordingly, the court finds that plaintiffs have sufficiently shown that potential collective action members in states outside of California are ‘similarly situated’ within the meaning of the FLSA for purposes of conditional certification,” Brown added.
     Brown nevertheless declined to certify a California class as she did the nationwide class, citing the numerosity requirement.
     “Given the small number of individuals for whom class certification is being sought, the court finds that plaintiffs’ request to certify a California class must be rejected due to their failure to satisfy the numerosity requirement,” the ruling states.
     “In sum, the court finds that plaintiffs have failed to carry their burden of demonstrating that conditional certification of a California class is appropriate in this case. Although the court has determined that conditional certification of the non-California FLSA class is warranted, the court cannot preliminarily approve the settlement because it is dependent upon approval of the California class as well,” Brown wrote.
     Class period for the non-California class spanned July 5, 2009, to March 4, 2013, the ruling states. The California class ran from July 5, 2008, to March 4, 2013.
     Agilysys specializes in property management, point-of-sale and workforce management software. The company has four central offices in the United States, plus locations in Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

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