In Torres et al. v. Gristedes Operating Corp. et al., Case No. 11-4035 (July 9, 2013), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that a mayoral candidate, a supermarket owner, and an executive can be individually liable for settlement payments arising of a Fair Labor Standard Act class action.
In this case, the parties settled the class action. A class action is a discrimination case brought by a few plaintiffs on behalf of many employees. All of the members who agreed to be part of the class (the individuals who were discriminated against) receive their part of the settlement. In order for a fair disbursement, the Judge must adopt the settlement.
Under the settlement, the defendants agreed to pay $3.5 million to the class. However, the defendants defaulted on the payments. The judge’s order allowed the class to enforce the settlement. Defendants, who sought to change the settlement, stated that they were not bound by the settlement because they were not “employers.”
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. The Court noted that the defendants exercised “operational control” that affected the class’ employment. For example, based of their decisions, the employees’ wages were affected. Because defendants were employers, defendants were bound by the settlement. Based on this decision, defendants now have to pay the owed money.
via Labor Employment Law Blog: Second Circuit Imposes Individual Liability on New York Mayoral Candidate for Fair Labor Standards Act Settlement.
On October 1, 2013, the “Safe Act” becomes effective. The Safe Act provides 20 days of unpaid leave to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The employer can require that this unpaid leave be covered under FMLA, New Jersey FMLA, vacation, or personal leave.
The purpose of the Safe Act is to provide New Jersey victims with time to deal with matters related to an incident of domestic abuse or sexual assault. The Safe Act covers:
- The employee,
- The employee’s child,
- The employee’s parent,
- The employee’s spouse,
- The employee’s domestic partner, or
- The employee’s civil union partner.
Within 12 months of the incident, the Safe Act’s purpose is to provide the victim of domestic abuse or sexual assault can:
- Seek medical attention for, or recover from, physical or psychological injuries;
- Obtain servies from victim services organization;
- Obtain psychological or other counseling;
- Participate in safety planning, temporarily or permanent relocate, or undertake other actions to increase safety;
- Seek legal assistance or remedies; or
- Attend, participate in, or prepare for court proceedings.
If the employer violates the Safe Act, the employee can ask for the following remedies: (1) Reinstatement; (2) compensation for lost wages and benefits; (3) an injunction; (4) attorney’s fees and costs; (5) civil find of $1,000 to $2,000 for a first time violation; and (6) a fine of $5,000 for any subsequent violations.
via Labor Employment Law Blog: New Jersey Provides Unpaid Leave to Victims of Domestic Violence.