Wilshire Law Firm Reaches Settlement in Firefighter FLSA Suit

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 22, 2019 — Wilshire Law Firm is happy to announce that senior attorney Justin F. Marquez, Esq. and lead employment attorney Nicol Hajjar, Esq. have secured a successful settlement for Retired Division Chief Ronald Pelham in his Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) suit against the City of Monrovia, California.

Pelham, a former firefighter who risked his life serving for the Monrovia Fire Department, was allegedly misclassified by the department as an overtime-exempt, white-collar employee during a three-year period stretching from 2015 to 2018. Following an exhaustive investigation and thorough review of the City’s timekeeping and payroll records, Wilshire Law Firm determined that Pelham’s misclassification resulted in over 3,000 hours and more than $80,000 worth of unpaid FLSA overtime.

The City of Monrovia argued (and continues to argue) that Pelham’s designation as a Division Chief rendered him ineligible for overtime pay, a finding contrasted by Wilshire Law Firm’s contention that FLSA regulations regarding white-collar exemptions do not apply to firefighters who, regardless of their rank or pay level, perform work such as preventing, controlling, or extinguishing fires.

Following a month-long negotiation process, Wilshire Law Firm (led by Founding President and Managing Attorney Bobby Saadian, Esq.) and the City of Monrovia reached a settlement agreement for the total amount of $115,000, with Pelham receiving $72,969.40 directly. In spite of the challenges presented by the case, the damages paid out per person in Pelham’s case ($115,000) vastly outpace other California FLSA settlements in cases involving firefighters—similar cases have lost at trial, while other cases involving firefighter overtime claims have settled for anywhere between $1,126 and $20,759 per person in damages.

Justin F. Marquez, Esq. specializes in high-stakes class action litigation, whistleblower actions, and employment claims and is a recognized leader in data privacy and consumer protection class actions.

Nicol Hajjar, Esq. represents employee rights victims in workplace harassment, workplace discrimination, workplace retaliation, wrongful termination, wage & hour claims, and other employment law matters for Wilshire Law Firm.

About Wilshire Law Firm
Founded in 2007 by Bobby Saadian, Esq., Wilshire Law Firm is an award-winning personal injury, employment law, and class action law firm. To date, our team of over 100 legal professionals has recovered more than $380,000,000 for our client family, providing exceptional service every step of the way.

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