The class, which numbers approximately 985 California employees, was originally represented by the named plaintiff Sergio Gutierrez, who filed the putative class action in August 2014. Gutierrez passed away during the litigation. Two new class representatives, Kenneth Moniz and Kevin Henshaw, were put forward as replacements, each of whom is expected to receive up to $10,000 for their time and effort in bringing the action, and in exchange for a general release of all claims, according to the settlement agreement.
The allegations in the complaint state that Stericycle had a practice of rounding payroll times shorting workers of earned wages, and that employees weren't fully compensated for the time they spent donning and doffing their required work clothing. The complaint also alleged that Stericycle didn't include all bonuses in workers' overtime rate, failed to pay all vested vacation payments due and didn't provide statutory meal and rest periods.
Stericycle collects, processes and disposes medical waste. The company has employees in over 28 locations in California. Class members include any employees who worked for Stericycle in California between August 14, 2010, and September 18, 2017.
The motion for approval asserts that beginning in 2015, Stericycle offered individual settlements to some class members "in a direct attempt to minimize the exposure of the current lawsuit." Those payments have added up to $460,000. Employees who took money under individual deals will receive a reduced portion of the settlement before the court for the worked shifts covered by their prior agreements with the company.
Further, the plaintiffs stated in their complaint that Stericycle had a points system for rewarding employees if they avoided workplace accidents. The points were converted to cash credits that class members could use to make purchases on Amazon. This bonus, the plaintiffs contend, should have been calculated into the workers' regular rate for purposes of overtime.
The case is Sergio Gutierrez v. Stericycle Inc., case number 2:15-cv-08187, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.