A federal judge in September approved a nearly $1.9 million settlement to a class action lawsuit brought against Cello Partnership, which does business as Verizon Wireless, by a former Marietta store employee who alleged the telecommunications giant underpaid workers.
The suit — which was filed in federal court, but settled in mediation in March — awarded nearly 4,000 current and former Verizon store workers across the nation more than $1 million in compensation, according to an order passed down by Chief Judge Algenon Marbley of The Southern District of Ohio.
The money will be distributed based on the numbers of unpaid hours worked.
Neil Rosenbohm, a West Virginia resident who previously worked at a Verizon store in Marietta, Ohio between May 2015 and January 2017, filed the lawsuit against the company in 2017 alongside his attorney Michael Fradin.
Rosenbohm alleged that Verizion violated labor laws by not adequately paying employees for work preformed at the end of closing shifts, amounting to “wage theft,” according to the lawsuit.
The company implemented a policy years back that required employees who close Verizon stores to remain in the store after they clock out until managers finish their closing duties, resulting in between 15 and 20 minutes of unpaid labor for workers at the end of closing shifts, the lawsuit alleged.
Rosenbohm also alleged that Verizon fired him after he complained to management several times about the policy.
As part of the settlement, Rosenbohm will receive an individual settlement payment, the amount of which hasn’t been finalized, Fradin said, on top of a $10,000 reward for his participation in the suit on behalf of Verizon employees.
Fradin and the attorneys on his team will receive an award of $650,000 as part of the settlement, and an additional $47,000 for litigation expenses.
“We are very pleased that Judge Marbley approved the settlement reached during the March mediation,” Fradin said in a statement. “Neil is a top-notch Class Representative and has worked diligently with the best interests of the Class in mind since we filed the initial complaint in 2017.”