On Sept. 20, 2006, Faith Martin sued FedEx in the San Francisco County Superior Court. On Nov. 2, FedEx removed the case to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction. Martin claims that FedEx violated the California Labor Code by failing to provide required meal and rest breaks and by failing to provide itemized wage statements. Martin further alleges that FedEx violated Section 17200 of the California Business and Professions Code. The plaintiff claims that FedEx kept the conveyor belt for transporting packages moving at all times, thereby preventing workers from taking rest or meal breaks during their shifts.
Under the agreement, the settlement class is defined as all California FedEx Ground package handlers who held their positions at FedEx Ground any time from Oct. 1, 2000, to Dec. 31, 2008. A separate class is defined as all California FedEx Ground nonpackage handler nonexempt employees who held their positions at FedEx Ground any time from Sept. 20, 2002, to Dec. 31, 2008.
The agreement provides for $2,681,250 to be paid to class counsel, $75,000 in litigation costs and an additional $250,000 in administration costs to be paid to a claims administrator. The remaining $5,148,750 will be used for a settlement fund that is to be paid to class members based on the number of weeks worked by class members. Named plaintiffs Martin, Javier Olguin, Miguel Vargas and Kelly Freeman will each receive $10,000 cash incentive payments under the terms of the agreement.
The claims administrator will divide the total number of weeks worked among valid claims into the settlement fund to obtain a workweek rate. Each class member will then receive payment equal to the workweek rate times the number of weeks that he or she was a class member. If 48 percent of the settlement fund is not claimed, class members will receive the difference between the amount claimed and 48 percent of the settlement fund on a proportional basis. Class counsel estimates class members will receive approximately $200 for each year they worked.