Murphy Anderson and PJC Announce Class Action Win in Training Time Case

September 18, 2013

Murphy Anderson PLLC and the Public Justice Center are happy to announce that on September 17, 2013, Magistrate Judge William Connelly of the U.S. District Court in Maryland certified and gave final approval to a class-action settlement involving novel and important wage and hour issues relating to the compensability of training time for low-wage asbestos-abatement workers.

In October 2012, three employees of WMS Solutions, an asbestos-abatement company employing hundreds of workers throughout the mid-Atlantic, filed suit under the Maryland Wage and Hour Law, the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law and the FLSA demanding that they be paid for time spent attending state-mandated initial and "refresher" abatement training courses.  In addition, the employees demanded reimbursement of costs paid for the training programs themselves and for personal protective equipment necessary for abatement work.  These costs were often deducted from paychecks without authorization or paid directly out-of-pocket by the workers.

The settlement agreement will provide approximately $200,000 in payments directly to at least 500 workers.  More importantly, WMS Solutions agreed to significant injunctive relief, including agreeing to compensate current and future employees for time spent in required asbestos abatement trainings, providing trainings and protective equipment at no cost to employees, and agreeing to a grievance procedure for any future violations.  Class counsel will also receive payment of $125,000 in legal fees.

Mark Hanna, Joni S. Jacobs and Renee Gerni were the attorneys at Murphy Anderson PLLC that litigated the case; Sally Dworak-Fisher and Alexandra Rosenblatt litigated the case for the Public Justice Center.