Welcome Inn, Quentin Kearney, Ken Logan, labor standards
Welcome Inn labor case could settle
February 23, 2018  //  By:   //  Legal  //  No Comment

The latest filing in a Welcome Inn labor case indicates a settlement has been offered by the defendants.

A case updated posted on LexisNexis Jan. 31 states, “Telephonic status conference held with counsel for Plaintiff, John Ireland, and defense counsel, Kevin Doherty and Thomas Luetkemeyer. The Court notes that Defendant Welcome Inn Hotel Management, Inc. is no longer a party in this case. It was not listed in the most recent Amended Complaint. Clerk is directed to remove Defendant Welcome Inn Hotel Management, Inc. from the docket.”

It continues, “The parties have entered into a tolling agreement which will toll the statute of limitations pending mediation. Defendants have proposed a settlement document to Plaintiff. Plaintiff was not in agreement with the structure, but has provided an alternative settlement document to Defendants. Discussions are proceeding and counsel requests additional time to reach an agreed settlement document. Several pending motions are fully briefed and pending.”

As previously reported, four owners of a Welcome Inn located in Illinois are being sued for allegations of violating that state’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Plaintiffs April R. Brasher and Richard M. Orencia, individually and on behalf of all persons similarly situated as collective representative under and/or as members of the Collective as permitted under the Fair Labor Standards Act, filed a lawsuit against Quincy Properties LLC, doing business as “Welcome Inn” and Welcome Inn Hotel Management, Inc. and Brett Burge, Kenneth Logan, Quentin Kearney and Joe Wimberly as individuals under FLSA and Illinois Wage Laws.

Court documents allege that the plaintiffs are seeking unpaid overtime, monetary damages, declaratory and injunctive relief and other equitable and ancillary relief, pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The plaintiffs allege individually and on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated current, former and future misclassified “salaried” employees of the defendant that they, under both federal and state wage laws, were/are misclassified due to the misclassified employees lacking “Exempt” duties and/or the “Exempt” duties (if any) are overwhelmed by the non-exempt duties and/or loss of exemption due to deductions from salaries of the employees.

Brasher also brought a claim of wage retaliation, as her termination was the direct result of her complaining about the illegal wage deduction and/or overtime wages defendants threatened to impose on her, which is illegal to terminate an employee on those complaints under FLSA, IMWL and IWPCA.

Quincy Properties has a policy and procedure of classifying many (most) its employees as being “salaried” despite those most of those employees1 having few or no actual “salaried” work duties, the complaint alleges.

In court papers filed February 12, the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Welcome Inn accuse the defendants of delaying a ruling on a pending Motion for FLSA Collective Notice to other “Salaried” employees of the defendants. “During the interim time, from the filing of the FLSA Collective Motion on March 1, 2017 until January 28, 2018 those misclassified “salaried” employees not filing FLSA Consents have had their rights reduced by the passage of time (for approximately nine months). What’s more some of the potential Collective Members FLSA claims have entirely expired (unless tolling is allowed for this nine-month period, ‘interim period’),” the plaintiffs allege.
It continues, “It is likely that a group of misclassified employees whose employment ended during the nine months running from March 1, 2014 to January 28, 2015 (based on the FLSA’s 3 year Statute of Limitations) will be entirely removed from the Collective and receive no FLSA Notice, unless this Court Grants Tolling of their claims… More importantly, the termination of these potential Collective Members FLSA rights is due to no fault of those employees, as many are simply unaware of the pending litigation and/or potential claims they may have.”

The most recent court update notes, “Telephonic status conference to discuss status of settlement documents and mediation scheduled Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. before Magistrate Judge Schanzle-Haskins.



About the Author :

Carol Thompson is a veteran investigative reporter residing in central New York. She spent 23 years with a local newspaper, The Valley News, before leaving for the Syracuse New Times, and now, VNN. Thompson has won dozens of first-place awards for investigative reporting and was the 2006 recipient of the Syracuse Press Club’s prestigious Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award. Thompson’s reporting has resulted in the arrest of public officials and has prompted policy changes. She uncovered two money laundering schemes that traveled the globe and resulted in the indictments of several developers.