How This Happened
Under the County’s “Choices” health insurance system, employees have two possible cash-back options. Employees who are covered by other group insurance can entirely opt out of health insurance coverage through the County, and receive cash-back payments. Other employees who choose other than the most expensive health care coverage receive as cash-back the difference between the County’s contribution and the cost of the coverage the employee chose.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the country’s basic wage-and-hour law, and describes how the overtime rate must be calculated. In a case known as Flores v. City of San Gabriel, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the FLSA requires that health insurance cash-back payments must be included in the overtime rate.
The County has not included cash-back payments in calculating employees overtime rates. Under Flores, the County’s practices violate the FLSA. In addition, the lawsuit will examine whether the County has been correctly calculating employee overtime rates.
Do You Have a Claim?
You have a claim for underpaid overtime if you meet two conditions.
You worked for Los Angeles County for all or part of the three years before the date we file your claim.
You worked overtime during that time period.
How to Recover Unpaid or Underpaid Overtime
Employees seeking to join a class action lawsuit to recover unpaid or underpaid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act must take affirmative steps to join the lawsuit. This requires that employees complete two documents:
A consent to join the lawsuit.
An attorney-client fee agreement with the attorneys who are representing the class.
If you’re interested in joining the overtime lawsuit against Los Angeles County, please fill out this form and sign and return the documents linked below the form. You can do this from your computer or smart device.
File a Claim Here
Just follow the two steps outlined below. You'll have to fill out a form then download, sign, and return some documents.
Step 1: Fill Out This Form
Fill out the below form (refresh this page if the form does not appear). We need the information gathered to pursue your claim.
Step 2: Complete and Return Two Documents
Click the button to download and sign two documents: (1) the consent to join the lawsuit form and (2) the attorney-client agreement. Please either mail OR hand-deliver the original signed documents to one of the drop-off locations below.
We apologize, but we cannot accept faxed or emailed signatures. We are happy to answer any questions. Visit our "Contact Us" page to reach out.
Please remember to print your name clearly and print out the documents single-sided only.
ATTN: Nicole Castronovo
Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle & Silver
1428 2nd Street, Suite 200
Santa Monica, CA 90401
El Monte, CA:
Los Angeles County Firefighters, Local 1014
3460 Fletcher Avenue
Monterey Park, CA:
2 Cupania Circle
Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle & Silver
3401 Centre Lake Drive, Suite 440
PSLG specializes in representing public safety labor organizations in all aspects of their labor relations, ranging from daily legal counsel, contract administration, collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, unfair labor practice litigation, and critical incident response.
PSLG blends a vast amount of experience and scholarship in the law with the finest group of labor lawyers in the region. As the political climate in this country has rapidly changed, PSLG has developed a sophisticated model of representation that blends traditional labor relations with proactive political endeavors, which has greatly benefited their clients.
Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle & Silver, PC ("RLS") is a premier full-service law firm with an emphasis on the representation of peace officers in disciplinary, criminal, labor, workers’ compensation, personal injury and other civil matters. RLS is dedicated to protecting the rights of peace officers, firefighters, public employees, and those who need professional legal assistance.
RLS’s diverse legal team includes attorneys, labor relations representatives, professional negotiators, and private investigators. These professionals offer a broad range of experience and knowledge in labor and employment law related to the public sector, particularly law enforcement. RLS’s team approach to representation works to the advantage of our clients, enabling each individual client to draw upon the expertise of the entire firm. RLS is committed to providing the highest quality service at an affordable cost.
FAQs and Other Inquiries
If the claims are successful, what can I recover?
If the claims are successful, the County will be required to recalculate your overtime, including the overtime rate of cash-back payments you received through the health care system. In addition to being compensated for any underpayment, the County may be liable to pay you an equivalent amount in “liquidated damages” unless it can show that its violation of the law was “reasonable and in good faith.” This is why the FLSA is often referred to as a “double damages” statute.
How far back in time will a lawsuit cover?
The FLSA has two statutes of limitations. The basic statute of limitations allows recoveries two years in the past. If employees can prove that the employer’s violation of the law was willful, intentional or reckless, the statute of limitations is extended to three years.
How are the attorneys getting paid?
The law firms handling the claims have agreed to work on the basis of a 25% contingency fee. This means that you would pay no attorney fees unless and until a recovery is made on your behalf.
If the claims are unsuccessful, will I be responsible for paying the County’s attorney fees?
No. While the FLSA allows a successful plaintiff to recover attorney fees from the employer, it does not allow a successful employer the right to attorney fees from the employee.
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