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Converse Inc. Settles $450K Wage-and-Hour Lawsuit Settlement

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Converse and its employees who worked at two California facilities have reached a $450K unpaid wages class action lawsuit settlement.

Santa Clara, CA Converse Inc. has reached a settlement for $450,000. The California wage-and-hour class action lawsuit brought by Andres Campos claiming the largest manufacturer of athletic footwear in the U.S. didn’t pay its workers at two of their California warehouse facilities for all of the hours that they worked.

Campos, a non-exempt warehouse worker, filed the lawsuit in May 2020 in the Superior Court of California for the County of San Bernardino on behalf of himself and other similarly situated Converse employees. According to his lawsuit, Campos claimed that Converse:
  • failed to pay compensation due;
  • violated meal period breaks
  • violated rest period breaks
  • failed to pay wages timely upon termination; and
  • violated California’s Unfair Competition Law
Allegedly, workers were required to pass through a security exit process but were not paid for that time. According to California law, employees are to be paid for all time worked, including time spend “completing the exit process”. Campos also claimed that workers at the two California facilities were not given appropriate meal and rest breaks in accordance with California law.

Although Converse denies Campos’ claims, it agreed to settle with employees rather than cough up potential costs and risks of continued litigation. Of the $450,000 settlement, about $165,000 will be deducted for class counsel attorney fees and costs. The settlement stipulates that each class member can receive a percentage of the settlement fund based on their payroll. The Unpaid Wages Class includes all non-exempt Converse Inc. employees at Converse’s two California warehouses who were employed within the four years before the settlement deal received preliminary approval.

According to court documents, the settlement was reached based on Campos establishing Commonality and Typicality.

Commonality


The commonality requirement is satisfied when plaintiffs assert claims that “depend upon a common contention … capable of classwide resolution—which means that a determination of its truth or falsity will resolve an issue that is central to the validity of each one of the claims in one stroke. Campos asserted that these questions of law and fact are common to the respective Class Members:
  • Whether Defendants paid class members for all hours worked as required by California law for time spent waiting for and giving through mandatory security processes to exit the facility
  • Whether Defendants willfully failed to timely pay all wages due to Plaintiff and class members upon the termination of their employment

Typicality



“The purpose of the typicality requirement is to assure that the interest of the named representative aligns with the interests of the class.”  And “The test of typicality is whether other members have the same or similar injury, whether the action is based on conduct which is not unique to the named plaintiff, and whether other class members have been injured by the same course of conduct.”

  • Campos asserted that Converse implemented uniform and mandatory exit security procedures at the two facilities, which required employees to submit to a visual inspection, pat themselves down, and open bags for inspection whenever they exited the facilities.
  • Campos and fellow workers were subject to these security procedures when they left to take meal and rest breaks and at the end of their shifts after they had clocked out.
  • Converse did not compensate those employees for the time spent waiting for and undergoing the security procedures.
  • In addition, Campos claimed that Converse terminated his class members’ employment and willfully failed to pay them for all outstanding wages for their time.
The Court concluded that Campos has met the typicality requirement.  The case is Campos v. Converse, Inc. Case No: 5:20-cv-01576-JGB-SP.

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