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Wells Fargo Settles Overtime Class Suit for $35 Million

Jan. 16, 2020, 6:52 PM

Wells Fargo will pay $35 million to settle federal and state overtime claims brought by nearly 9,000 hourly bank employees nationwide.

The settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate considering the strength of the case, the risk and complexity of their claims, the likelihood of further litigation, the extent of discovery, and experience of class counsel, Judge Esther Salas of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey said. The court granted final approval of the deal Wednesday.

The deal resolves overtime claims brought by hourly bank employees against Wells Fargo & Co. under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Connecticut, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania law.

The settlement class includes approximately 8,946 hourly employees who worked more than 38 hours per week between January 2015 and January 2017 for Wells Fargo banks in any state other than California.

The class members will divvy up nearly $24 million, with each estimated to receive an average payout of about $628.

Juan Carlos Merino and Agustin Morel, Jr., the original named plaintiffs, will each get $20,000 service awards. Seven other state-subclass representatives and six FLSA opt-in plaintiffs will also receive individual awards ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.

Class counsel were approved to receive $11.1 million in attorneys’ fees and costs. Legal Services of New Jersey and Legal Aid of North Carolina were designated as the charitable beneficiary of any residual settlement funds.

Berger Montague PC, The Law Office of Roosevelt N. Nesmith LLC, Giskan Solotaroff & Anderson LLP, The Markham Law Firm, Reali Law APC, Quintilone & Associates, and Russel S. Warren Jr. represent the class members. Seyfarth Shaw LLP represents Wells Fargo.

The case is Merino v. Wells Fargo & Co., D.N.J., No 16-cv-07840, 1/15/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen Dailey at kdailey@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Patrick L. Gregory at pgregory@bloomberglaw.com

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