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$13.5 Million Settlement Approved in Duane Reade Overtime Class Action

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

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On May 4, 2017, U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken approved a $13.5 million settlement between drugstore giant Duane Reade and a class of assistant store managers who claim that the defendant did not pay them proper overtime wages, despite the employees working more than 50 hours a week.

The suit was originally filed in January 2011 as a response to the lack of compliance on the part of Duane Reade with a 2009 settlement which held that Duane Reade had improperly withheld overtime pay from assistant store managers who worked more than 50 hours a week. Plaintiffs in the current suit claim that the defendant made no material changes to the position of assistant store manager after the 2009 settlement, yet continued to classify assistant store managers as exempt from overtime pay. The class includes around 1,075 plaintiffs who were employed as Duane Reade assistant store managers from January 8, 2009 to November 3, 2016. 

Notably, Judge Oetken denied the defendant’s request for a provision to limit references to the settlement on class counsel’s website and social media websites. The court held that confidentiality provisions run afoul of well-settled provisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act. In addition to the $13.5 million settlement the court awarded class counsel $4.5 million in attorney’s fees in addition to $246,864 for costs and expenses.

The case is: Mani Jacob et al. v. Duane Reade Inc. et al., Case No.: 1:11-cv-00160 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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