PHILADELPHIA – On April 14, Comcast Corp. settled a class action lawsuit alleging the cable giant violated the Fair Labor Standards Act when it failed to pay overtime wages to a large number of employees at its Horsham location.
Per the settlement terms, Comcast agreed to pay $453,900 - inclusive of all class member payments, attorneys fees, court costs and class representative service payments.
Preliminary calculations state each of the 420 class members will receive $1,250 of compensation after attorneys fees and other litigation expenses are accounted for.
Class representative Karis Rouse will receive an additional $2,500 for acting in that role, along with his counsel receiving payment of $158,865 in attorney fees and $4,445.55 in costs as part of the settlement, ruled United States Magistrate Judge Lynne A. Sitarski.
Rouse, a Bucks County man who was hired by Comcast as a sales representative on Jan. 1, 2010, and who later became a sales supervisor, claimed in his lawsuit that the company failed to pay him and about 100 other workers time-and-a-half for each hour they worked in excess of 40 per week.
Rouse also said he and the members of the proposed class routinely performed work before and after their respective scheduled shifts without proper compensation.
Comcast, the complaint alleged, misclassified the plaintiff and the class members as “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and therefore concluded that the employees were not entitled to overtime compensation.
The complaint also accused Comcast of violating the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act and the state’s Wage Payment and Collection Law.
The plaintiff, who is black, also had a federal civil rights claim in the lawsuit, claiming that he experienced disparate and discriminatory treatment because of his race.
According to the complaint, Rouse was told in mid-October of 2013 that his employment was being terminated because one of his subordinates was allegedly coming in to work before his approved starting time and working when he shouldn’t have been.
White supervisors in the plaintiff’s position have routinely allowed subordinates to come in and work before their shifts, but they were never disciplined or terminated, the lawsuit alleged.
Rouse says he was replaced following his firing by a white individual.
The plaintiff was represented by Michael Patrick Murphy, Jr., Esq. of Murphy Law Group, LLC in Philadelphia.
The defendant was represented by Jason E. Reisman, Esq. of Blank Rome LLP and Joseph J. Centeno, Therese Gillespie and Tiffani L. McDonough of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP, all of Philadelphia.
U.S. Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania case 2:14-cv-01115