The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has approved an $87 million settlement in a case brought by former and current UPS drivers.
Judge Thelton Henderson approved a plan that provides a common fund to pay 23,632 drivers. The suit, filed in February 2003, claimed that UPS created rigid delivery deadlines that required drivers to either skip or shorten their state-mandated meal and rest breaks. The drivers also argued that UPS did not permit them to take the second meal break required in California for drivers working 10-12 hour shifts.
Most of the UPS drivers employed during the entire class period, which extended from 1999 to 2006, will receive between $5,000 and $15,000. Some will get checks for up to $20,000. More than 8,000 class members can expect awards of less than $200 because they worked infrequently as fill-in drivers.
The settlement also includes $21,750,000 in attorneys’ fees.
Final note: This settlement and others like it highlight why it is so important for employers to familiarize themselves with California wage-and-hour rules. It’s not enough to understand just the federal Fair Labor Standards Act rules.