$1.3 Million Settlement in Petco Wage Class Action Granted Preliminary Approval

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel


On November 16, 2020, Eastern District of New York Judge Eric R. Komitee granted preliminary approval for a $1.3 million proposed settlement that ended claims between pet supply store Petco and a class of former employees.

The suit was originally filed on June 7, 2019, by plaintiffs Cindy Gatto, Kellee Thompson and Maci Heginger. In the complaint, the plaintiffs argue that as a matter of policy and practice, Petco suppressed off-the-clock hours and manually altered the time records of its groomers. The suit argues this was done in order to decrease the recorded work hours submitted in a bid to reduce groomers wages for both overtime and straight pay.

The plaintiffs alleged that Petco’s actions were in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the New York Labor Law, the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act, the California Labor Code and the Unfair Competition Law. According to court documents, the $1.3 million settlement will be divided into $16,000 payments for each of the named plaintiffs, in addition to a maximum of $267,060.06 for attorneys’ fees and litigation costs, a reserve amount of $10,000 and a maximum cost of $30,000 for the Settlement Administrator.

The remaining amount, $976,939.94 (the “Net Settlement Amount”) will be distributed to the class members as compensation for their wage-and-hour claims.

The settlement class is estimated to be made up of around 4,000 Petco groomers who worked at affiliated grooming salons between June 2013 and October 2019 in New York, and between March 2016 and October 2019 in California.

The case is: Gatto et al. v. Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., Case No.: 1:19-cv-03394, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.


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