Faruqi & Faruqi is thrilled to announce final approval of the hard-fought settlement in Griffin et al. v. Aldi Inc., No. 5:16-cv-00354. The settlement recovered a remarkable $9.8 million for the Aldi Store Managers, including an average award of over $25,000 to each individual Store Manager. Faruqi & Faruqi, as co-lead counsel, represented the Plaintiffs and a class of similarly-situated current and former Store Managers employed by Aldi.
Plaintiffs filed this action on March 29, 2016, on behalf of all Aldi Store Managers, alleging that the large-scale grocery chain misclassified them as exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and New York Labor Law (“NYLL”). Aldi Store Managers claimed that they spent up to 90% of their time performing manual labor tasks that were identical to those performed by non-exempt employees, such as stocking shelves and operating the cash register. Moreover, they lacked any discretion, authority, or control over Aldi’s operations which may have qualified them as exempt employees. Nevertheless, Aldi classified its Store Managers as exempt executives and often forced them to work 60 to 75 hours per week without receiving overtime pay.
In granting final approval of the settlement, the Court held that the proposed settlement “is a very reasonable and fair settlement, and that the individual recovery for each of the Store Managers “is substantial and will compensate them for the damages they sustained in this matter.” Additionally, the Court emphasized that it was “impressed with the quality of the work” performed by class counsel, further stating that they “did an excellent job representing the interests of the class members.”