$1.5 Million settlement of a class action against a major New Jersey food distributor alleging violation of New Jersey’ Wage and Hour laws and the failure to pay overtime to truck drivers and helpers. (Bryan H. Mintz, with co-counsel, Middlesex County, New Jersey 2016)
We know what everyone is thinking, how can the Jets be in the news during the week of the Super Bowl?
In our recent series of blog posts, we have discussed how corporations are taking away the rights of both their consumers and employees through arbitration clauses.
Today we continue a series of blog posts that center around a critical topic for each and every one of us. This topic is arbitration clauses and the impact they are having on both consumers and employees.
Do you remember the last time you purchased a vehicle? Do you remember agreeing upon a price then finally being called into a finance office to complete the sale?
October 30, 2015 - The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted a motion to remand Mintz & Geftic’s high-stakes wage & hour class action case from federal court to state court.
Just last month, New Jersey’s Appellate Division, in Daniels v. Hollister Co., held that “ascertainability” should not be considered as a factor by New Jersey trial courts when deciding whether to certify a class action.
Class action lawsuits are serious, high stakes litigation, and involve complex legal issues that require lawyers experienced in class action representation. Mintz & Geftic’s Bryan H. Mintz, has handled class action lawsuits against major corporations throughout the country. Mr. Mintz has been certified as lead class counsel in numerous major class actions and his experience in class actions range from lawsuits concerning deceptive marketing and consumer class actions to class actions involving wage and hour violations. We at Mintz & Geftic are committed to protecting the interests of groups of individuals who have been similarly wronged by large corporations.
We work directly with the named plaintiff who is filing the case to protect the rights of individuals within the class.
We handle a wide range of class actions:
Wage Theft and Overtime Class Actions
Companies often fail to pay any overtime for more than 40 hours of work per week. The Fair Labor Standards Act and New York and New Jersey Hour Laws require that employers compensate their non-exempt employees for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours per week.
Workers should be aware of their rights under these laws. You may be entitled to recover multiple years of back wages that your employer has failed to pay. Employees are entitled to bring actions on behalf of their co-workers in court as class actions or collective actions.
Companies often fail to properly pay overtime wages to many categories of employees, including:
- Construction workers; warehouse workers; factory workers; laborers, plumbers, electricians, masons, hospital employees; medical support staff; public sector employees; IT help desk employees; computer/network maintenance workers; bookkeepers/junior accountants; restaurant workers; airport employees, union employees
Employers make frequent errors, whether deliberate or not, in calculating overtime payment including:
- Averaging hours over a two week period
- Not including all payments in calculating the overtime rate of pay
- Not paying overtime for all hours worked over 40 per week
- Not including time spent preparing for work (donning and doffing)
- Requiring employees to work through unpaid meal breaks
In 2015, Mintz & Geftic’s Bryan H. Mintz, along with co-counsel, obtained a preliminarily approved settlement of $1,500,000 against a New Jersey food distributor alleging violations of New Jersey’s Wage & Hour laws. That case involved allegations that truck drivers for the food distributor worked more the forty (40) hours per week with no overtime pay.
Prevailing Wage Fraud
Government contractors must pay their workers a fair hourly wage by complying with federal and state prevailing wage laws. Federal law and many state laws require that when performing a government contract, the employer must pay its workers the “prevailing wage.” The Federal laws are often referred to as the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts. The prevailing wage is a specific wage calculated by government entities. If you have information that a government contractor did not pay a fair and prevailing wage, you can report it and potentially earn a large reward.
Whistleblower Reward: If you blow the whistle on a government contractor that is not paying the required prevailing wages then you may be entitled to a very large award. The size of any whistleblower reward for reporting the fraud or any other fraudulent scheme to cheat the government is determined by the size of the fraud. The whistleblower would receive a portion of the funds recovered by the government based on the allegations of fraud.
Assuming the violations were widespread and the defense or government contractor paid $10,000,000 million to settle the allegations, a whistleblower would be entitled to a reward of between 15% and 25% of that amount, or between $1.5 million and $2.5 million.
Data Breach Class Actions
Data breaches and hacking has impacted individuals, companies, and even our government. Companies that have personal and sensitive data must safeguard that information. There are laws and industry guidelines that companies must abide by to protect personal and sensitive information. Oftentimes, simple steps like encrypting data can protect personal information. However, companies do not always take those simple steps leaving individuals vulnerable.
Once your data is stolen, it is important to set up credit monitoring. Unfortunately, there is no timeline on when stolen data will actually be sold off and eventually used by thieves to create new identities, use information to obtain medical services, and jeopardize and individuals credit.
Mintz & Geftic recently filed the only data breach class action lawsuit pending in the New Jersey State Court as of July 2015. Mintz & Geftic is representing the interests of a putative class of approximately 800,000 individuals alleging that Horizon Healthcare jeopardized their sensitive and personal data by failing to encrypt the data and take even basic security measures. Mintz & Geftic’s client alleges that Horizon promised to safeguard her sensitive and personal data. Horizon’s customers paid premiums, in part, to have their data safeguarded. In this class action lawsuit, Mintz & Geftic’s client alleges that Horizon broke that promise and that the class members should get those premiums back. Click here for a copy of the complaint.
Consumer Class Actions
Consumers have right to purchase goods and services without misrepresentations, omissions of important facts, misleading sales pitches, and the products and services that are purchased should be free from defects. When companies take advantage of consumers, the consumers should contact an experience consumer advocate to discuss their rights. Many times the harm suffered by one consumer many seem small, but if it impacts hundreds or thousands of individuals, the harm suffered is magnified and the improper conduct results in significant profits for the company.
In 2014, Bryan H. Mintz, along with co-counsel, obtained $2.1 Million settlement of a class action against Redflex and 5 municipalities alleging a failure to comply with New Jersey laws governing red light cameras. In 2013, Bryan H. Mintz, along with co-counsel, obtained a $20 Million settlement of a consumer class action against Bank of America relating to the bank’s credit cards. In that case, the harmed consumers alleged that the bank imposed a payment protection plan without consent of the consumer or cardholder, deceptively marketed the service, and improperly administered the plan harming consumers.
New Jersey and New York Class Action Attorneys
Call Mintz & Geftic at 1-800-894-2320 or send us an email. Our Class Action attorneys serve clients throughout New Jersey, and New York, including the cities of Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hackensack, and Essex, Morris, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties. We have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey and New York City.
$4.2 Million settlement of a class action against American Traffic Systems, Inc. and 18 New Jersey municipalities alleging a failure to comply with New Jersey laws governing red light cameras. (Bryan H. Mintz, with co-counsel, District of New Jersey, 2013).
$6 Million settlement of a class action against Discover Financial Services related to its merchant membership program and the allegation that the bank was charging merchants for the program without authorization (Bryan H. Mintz, with co-counsel, Southern District of Florida), 2011).