Settlement could be coming in Welcome Inn case
A settlement could soon be reached in the longstanding Welcome Inn case.
The parties to the suit have scheduled a settlement conference for February 22 at the Urbana, Illinois courthouse.
By Feb. 15, each counsel, by confidential letter, must submit to the court a brief analysis of the key issues involved in the litigation, a description of the strongest and weakest legal and factual points in counsel’s client’s case and a description of the strongest and weakest legal and factual points in the opponent’s case not otherwise addressed in counsel’s client’s response.
The court also asked the parties to submit specifics of any and all settlement demands and/or offers made to date and any made prior to the commencement of the lawsuit as well as other stipulations including a settlement proposal that counsel’s client would be willing to make in order to conclude the matter and stop the expense of litigation.
Plaintiffs April R. Brashier, Richard M. Orencia, and Chad Lebow filed a lawsuit against Quincy Property LLC, doing business as “Welcome Inn,” and against Brett Burge, Kenneth Logan, Quentin Kearney and Joe Wimberly under FLSA and Illinois Wage Laws. The lawsuit, filed on Jan. 28, 2017, alleges the plaintiffs worked at the defendants’ hotels and weren’t paid overtime due under the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA.
The plaintiffs further allege they were misclassified as salaried employees exempt from FLSA, and that the defendants illegally deducted amounts from their pay in violation of FLSA.
Under FLSA, employees may bring a collective action against an employer to recover unpaid overtime or minimum wages. Unlike class action suits under the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, whereby potential plaintiffs are included unless they opt out, potential plaintiffs in FLSA collective actions must affirmatively opt in to the suit, according to Cornell Law School.
Brashier claims in court documents she was unjustly terminated at Welcome Inn for complaining about a lack of overtime pay, and threatened with illegal wage deductions.
Lebow alleges the defendants also retaliated against him. He claims they reduced his wages and/or tried to intimidate him by “strictly scrutinizing his work because he requested overtime pay.”
A pre-settlement conference with defendant’s counsel has been set for Feb. 22. That conference will be held by telephone.