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Buckingham v. Bank of America, National Association

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Francisco Division

July 11, 2017

ALLEN BUCKINGHAM, EUNICE ANN ROBINSON, ALVIN COURTS, and MELISSA AGOSTO-CRUZ, individually, on behalf of others similarly situated, and on behalf of the general public, Plaintiffs,
v.
BANK OF AMERICA, National Association, Defendant.

          [proposed] ORDER AND JUDGMENT GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT; ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS (AS MODIFIED BY THE COURT)

          RICHARD SEEBORG UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         This matter, a wage and hour class and collective action under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and several state laws, comes before the Court on plaintiffs' motion for final approval of class action settlement (ECF No. 96), and motion for payment of attorney fees and costs (ECF No. 92). A hearing was held on June 29, 2017.

         The Court has reviewed and considered the record in this matter, including the memorandum and declarations submitted in support of the motion for preliminary approval and the exhibits attached thereto; the proposed settlement agreement and each of the class notices; Plaintiffs' motion for final approval of the Settlement Agreement; the memorandum in support of the motion for final approval submitted by plaintiffs; and the memorandum and declarations submitted in support of the fee petition.

         Good cause appearing, the Court GRANTS the final approval and fee motions. The Court's order is based upon the following:

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs were Client Fulfillment Consultants (CFCs) (also called Implementation Advisors), employees in the treasury services department of defendant Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”), who allege they were misclassified as exempt from overtime. They now seek final approval of a class-wide settlement that achieves a common fund, in addition to prospective relief for the class.

         On January 26, 2017, this Court granted preliminary approval of this settlement, certifying the settlement class, preliminarily approving the settlement, and ordering dissemination of notice to class members (ECF No. 87). This Court granted the parties' amendment to this settlement on March 9, 2017 (ECF No. 91).

         The claims administrator provided notice in accordance with this Court's order. Out of the 529 initial class members, only one class member requested exclusion from the class, and no objections were filed. This settlement will result in recovery of $6.6 million for class members, in addition to the reclassification of the vast majority of currently employed class members and other current CFCs as non-exempt. Under the settlement, defendant will deposit the settlement fund with the claims administrator within 15 days of this Order, and class members will receive their pro-rata allocations shortly thereafter by mail.

         II. SUMMARY OF SETTLEMENTS

         A. Settlement Terms

         The proposed settlements resolve all wage-and-hour claims against defendant stemming from its alleged misclassification of CFCs. The settlement classes are defined as follows (ECF No. 91 at 3-4):

         The California Class shall be “All persons who are or who have been employed by defendant as exempt employees in its internal job code CI066, which includes the job titles Implementation Advisors and Client Fulfillment Consultants, within the State of California from December 31, 2011 through October 17, 2016.”

         The North Carolina Class shall be “All persons who are or who have been employed by Defendant as exempt employees in its internal job code CI066, which includes the job titles Implementation Advisors and Client Fulfillment Consultants, within the State of North Carolina from December 31, 2013 through October 17, 2016.”

         The Illinois Class shall be “All persons who are or who have been employed by Defendant as exempt employees in its internal job code CI066, which includes the job titles Implementation Advisors and Client Fulfillment Consultants, within the State of Illinois from December 31, 2012 through October 17, 2016.”

          The Connecticut Class shall be “All persons who are or who have been employed by Defendant as exempt employees in its internal job code CI066, which includes the job titles Implementation Advisors and Client Fulfillment Consultants, within the State of Connecticut from December 31, 2013 through October 17, 2016.”

         The FLSA Collective shall be: “All persons who are or who have been employed by Defendant as exempt employees in its internal job code CI066, which includes the job titles Implementation Advisors and Client Fulfillment Consultants, from December 31, ...


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