Florida Record

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Orlando man settlement with ex-employer approved

By Charmaine Little | May 16, 2018

ORLANDO -- An Orlando man’s legal battle with a former employer came to an end as their settlement agreement was approved in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida Orlando Division, based on a May 9 opinion.

The district court granted a joint motion for a settlement agreement between Woodspring Suites Property Management LLC and former employee Robert Swimmer. Swimmer initially sued Woodspring for unpaid overtime and compensation as well as retaliation with allegations it violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Although both parties agreed on a settlement with a previous court, that was denied as the plaintiff’s attorney did not sign the agreement.

The district court has determined the settlement is reasonable and fair.

Swimmer first alleged the company owed him $97,027.84 for unpaid overtime. He also said he was owed that amount for liquidated damages. He agreed to settle for $4,566.67 for unpaid wages and overtime, $4,566.67 for retaliation claim, and another $4,566.67 for the plaintiff’s “global release” of all other claims against the defendant as well as other terms in the agreement such as a no reemployment clause. 

Despite Swimmer settling for a significantly less amount, the court decided the settlement regarding FLSA claims was reasonable. It agreed with Woodspring's argument that the plaintiff cannot receive compensation during time frames when he was on call.

For attorney’s fees and costs, the settlement stated Swimmer legal counsel will be rewarded $5,300. The district court determined this was reasonable and fair as both parties have already negotiated the amount.

The district court also approved the clause in the settlement that includes no re-employment, confidentiality, general release and non-disparagement. The court stated that Swimmer was rewarded with $4,566.67 in exchange for his agreeing to the terms. It also pointed out that Swimmer said he had already found another job, and that he could not be hired again because he was “terminated for cause.”

The district court ultimately approved the settlement agreement and recommended the case be dismissed with prejudice.

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U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Orlando Division