Stewart’s Wage Lawsuit Near a Settlement

Male: Quinn and Cantara.

Cantara: It’s 1800LAW1010.

Quinn: I don’t know if it’s the wheels of justice, but whatever it is, it seems to move pretty slow because it’s almost six years after the class action lawsuit was filed that we may learn about a settlement. This is in regards to the Stewart’s wage lawsuit. The settlement coming soon, Paul?

Paul: Yeah, looks like it’s right around the corner, just so it will be within the six-year mark from the date that they filed it here. And, you know, based on what we read and what we see, it looks like it’s…you know, it started out as something that was gonna be fairly significant, and it’s kind of ending something that is pretty, pretty small here.

Cantara: It sounds…

Paul: Not a whole lot of violation.

Cantara: Yeah, it sounds like a lower deal for all the rigmarole they’re going. The class one is people who didn’t get paid overtime they claimed. And were there three people who were named and, like, 146 of them weren’t named? Why do the three people, I mean, I think I know, but why do the three people who were named versus 146 people who weren’t named get $5,000 and the other people get $200?

Paul: Yeah. You know, so with a class action, you’re in a situation where you’ve got people who have similar injuries, people who have suffered in a similar fashion. They name one, two, or three plaintiffs. They became the actual named plaintiffs in a class action. They sort of represent everyone else, but they do benefit a little bit more. There are certain statutory amount that say, “Hey, if you’re gonna go through this and you’re gonna be part of the lawsuit and depositions and you’re gonna be, you know, having been named here, your name is out there, you’re gonna do a little bit better.” So here, it’s significantly better. Usually, it’s not that much. But I think it just sort of hit a minimum of $5,000 for each of the named, and then, you know, they don’t know how much it’s gonna be because they’re not sure everyone who’s gonna be in the class. But ultimately a relatively small settlement. I mean, really the two things were shown for up a meeting on your day off, you’re supposed to get paid. And then there’s that whole thing when I think everyone suffers from, you know, shift transition pay. Hey, you start at 7:00, and you’re off at 7:00. Well, we got those time in between, right? We got customers, and we’ve got those minutes that we’re not sure what to do with. And the answer is you gotta overlap that. You gotta pay them when they stay beyond their time.

Cantara: So is this malicious intent or is this more oversight? I mean, we all love Stewart’s, so I don’t wanna…

Quinn: Were they just three lazy guys that decided to get together and have a lawsuit?

Cantara: We’re not here to hammer Stewart’s at all. I’m kind of hoping maybe it was just slip of the mind, but it seems…I don’t know. Is it deliberate, Paul?

Quinn: Maybe we don’t know. I don’t know.

Paul: No, it doesn’t feel deliberate at all. It feels just like, you know, just… You know, they’re a company that just continues… You know, they were small company at one point, they grew into a big company, and these things just sort of get overlooked. And there’s really not, I guess, an excuse for that other than probably again, I don’t think there’s a malicious intent here. I think that if you look at the number of potential plaintiffs, there were 33,000. And, you know, just a few have opted-in meaning a lot of the folks who worked there said, “Yeah, you know, maybe they did call me in,” or “Yeah, maybe I worked a few extra minutes. I don’t wanna be part of this.” You know, so I think that goes to…Probably there’s such a goodwill component with Stewart’s and employees generally are pleased that not a lot of them join up in this and ultimately, long lawsuit, lots…you know, a little bit of media coverage but pretty small resolution.

Cantara: So if you’re one of the people who’s gonna pick up say 200 bucks for the class action suit, and it’s been about six years, it breaks down to about 64 cents a week.

Quinn: I’m reading there’s a scale, like a sliding scale for, like, seniority, but it can’t be much more. That’s tough.

Cantara: When can I start?

Quinn: As if he’s waiting on it.

Cantara: Paul, when can I start charging iHeart for answering all my emails at night? Seriously.

Paul: Yeah. I mean, we can talk about that off-line. Yeah. No. So ultimately, you’ve got positions where sometimes you can just come and go. Once you reach a certain threshold of compensation, they sort of… You know, you don’t get to do that. But when you’re beneath a certain level of compensation, that’s when your hours count. So I think, where you are, I think you’re stuck answering those emails for all hours.

Quinn: Just do what I do and just turn the computer off at night. Yeah.

Cantara: Quinn, well, you know what? No one ever says you have to answer the emails, but I hate waking up to a full inbox, so I rather just take care of it now.

Quinn: Well there’s a certain…there’s a collection of emails from certain people that we have to answer 24/7.

Cantara: Plus, there’s a lot of things if by answering my emails ahead of Quinn that I actually jump on. You know what I mean? Like Quinn missed out on that Schlitz endorsements two years ago.

Quinn: Oh, my God, man.

Cantara: Because he didn’t reply to the email quick enough.

Quinn: [inaudible 00:04:26] like a windfall for you.

Cantara: All right, Paul. When do we think this will be settled, this week?

Paul: Yeah. We think it’s gonna be settled this week.

Cantara: Awesome.

Paul: And, therefore, there will be more to follow and a long time coming, so this will be put to bed.

Quinn: Did you vote?

Paul: Not yet.

Quinn: You vote today. That a boy.

Paul: Yeah. I’m out there. I’ll be out there.

Quinn: I’ll see you there. All right, buddy.

Cantara: Do our civic duty. Looking good on those TV commercials by the way.

Cantara: Looking good, Paul.

Quinn: Great new sign on Troy-Schenectady Road.

Cantara: He’s everywhere.

Quinn: It’s Paul Harding from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. 1800LAW1010. See you, buddy.

Cantara: Thanks, Paul.

Paul: Talk soon, guys. Bye-bye.