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Ill.: Security Company Settles Off-the-Clock Wage Class Action

By Susan R. Heylman  5/28/2014
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An Illinois federal court approved a $1.25 million settlement resolving the class action of almost 10,000 security guards who were not paid during their new hire training and orientation for employment with Securitas Security Services USA at its Illinois locations from May 29, 2006 to June 30, 2011.

The settlement covers two lawsuits: one with claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and one under the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL). The lawsuits were originally filed in Illinois state court in May 2009 but were removed to federal court in June 2009. The federal court certified the class in November 2011.

Under the settlement, the seven named representative plaintiffs each receive $5,000. The 703 guards who are in the FLSA class receive gross amounts of $57.20 each, which was calculated as four hours at $7.15, the average minimum wage in effect multiplied by two for liquidated damages.

Approximately 9,190 guards who are in the IMWL class receive a gross amount of $32.60 each, calculated as four hours at the average minimum wage of $8.15 for class members who attended new hire training and orientation before Dec. 31, 2009; a gross amount of $24.45, calculated as three hours at the minimum wage of $8.15, applies to those guards that started the new hire training between Dec. 31, 2009, and June 30, 2011.

The remainder of the settlement amount, $929,844, is attorney fees and costs.

Securitas did not admit to any wrongdoing or liability and questioned whether it had to pay the guards for the time spent in new hire orientation under the FLSA and state law, but agreed to settle to avoid further costs from extending the litigation.

Securitas Security Services USA has eight offices in Illinois. The company is part of the global security firm Securitas AB, which is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has approximately 310,000 employees in 52 markets in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

Howard v. Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., N.D. Ill., No. 1:08-cv-02746 (May 7, 2014); Hawkins v Securitas Security Services, Inc., N.D. Ill., No. 1:09-cv-03633 (May 7, 2014).

Susan R. Heylman, J.D., is a freelance legal writer and editor based in the Washington, D.C., area.
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