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$1 Million Settlement Proposed in ABRA Class Action Employment Suit; Court to Hold Final Hearing on July 29

The plaintiffs in a class-action suit against ABRA Auto Body and Glass have proposed a total settlement of $1 million. The suit, filed last summer by two former ABRA employees, alleges that the company required customer service managers (CSMs) and customer service representatives (CSRs) to work overtime without pay and that it did so by misclassifying them as "managerial," which exempted them from overtime pay. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota has given preliminary approval of the plan, and will provide final review of the settlement plan and plaintiffs' other requests at a hearing on July 29. The court has appointed Rust Consulting as the settlement administrator.

If the current settlement stipulation is approved, to calculate the allocation of the settlement fund, plaintiffs in the class will calculate the number of months each worked at ABRA between July 1, 2004, and April 30, 2008. Then, all plaintiffs' months worked will be added together, and the total amount of the remaining fund (minus attorneys' fees, costs and the settlement administrator's costs), to arrive at an average dollar amount per month. Each plaintiff would then multiply the average per-month amount by the number of months he worked at ABRA, according to court documents filed in the case.

In addition, plaintiffs in the class are requesting that the two named plaintiffs, who originally filed the suit, Thomas Hale and Justin Schreckenstein, receive payments of $7,500 each "in recognition of their time and effort in serving the class," in addition to their regular settlement payments. The court will review this request as well on July 29.

According to court documents, the settlement fund allocation will be performed by the plaintiffs, their counsel and Rust Consulting, without any input or direction from ABRA.

The original suit was filed by Halunen and Associates, representing Hale and Schreckenstein, on July 17, 2007, in the U.S. District Court in Minnesota.

ABRA is represented by Joseph M. Sokolowski and Lindsay J. Zamzow of Fredrikson & Byron P.A. in Minneapolis.

CLICK HERE for related story.

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