A federal judge has approved up to $35 million in payments to a group of California employees who sued a unit of Kansas City-based H&R Block.
By MARK DAVIS
The Kansas City Star
The employees had sought class action claims against Block on multiple charges related to pay, expense reimbursement, meal periods and other issues in a 2009 lawsuit. Similar charges appeared in another 2009 lawsuit against Block.
Ultimately, the settlement covered claims that Block failed to “pay accurate wage statements” and failed to pay all wages due when an employee was terminated, as well as claims for civil penalties, according to a court order.
The two sides twice failed to settle the case last year through daylong mediation sessions.
They then reached a tentative settlement last October on the same day the court planned to hear each side’s request for a summary judgment.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in the northern district of California approved the settlement Wednesday.
Her ruling said the case covers 18,700 Block employees with an average claim of $1,200.
The employees were “all seasonal, non-exempt tax professional employees who were or are employed” by Block as tax preparers in California between June 9, 2006, and the end of 2010.
Attorneys for the employees could not be reached Friday.
Block officials did not comment on the settlement. But spokesman Gene King said the case was brought originally under California law and “the state does have some different wage laws than other states.”
The lawsuit named H&R Block Enterprises LLC as the defendant.
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