LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to a Notice of Settlement filed today in the Los Angeles Superior Court, Lithia Motors (LAD) and its recently acquired subsidiary, DCH Auto Group, have agreed to settle all wage and hour claims of current and former auto mechanic employees of their nineteen California DCH dealerships.
The settlement agreement acknowledges that previous payments made to some mechanics in the amount of $435,600 was a result of the litigation, and provides for payment of an additional $3.6 million to the class, bringing the total value of the litigation to the employees to over $4 million. As there are over 400 class members, this is an average of around $10,000 per employee. The agreement is subject to final approval by the court.
The settlement resolves several lawsuits and arbitrations that had been filed against Lithia/DCH by its employees, accusing it of numerous Labor Code violations, including failing to pay all wages earned, failing to pay minimum wage, and failing to provide meal and rest breaks. The mechanics further accused Lithia/DCH of falsifying time records to show workers had taken meal breaks when in fact they had not. The settlement announced today only affects Lithia/DCH’s auto mechanic employees. Litigation continues on behalf of Lithia/DCH’s other employees, including service writers, salesmen, and clerical workers.
A lawyer for the employees, Nicholas Carlin, stated: “This is an excellent settlement for these workers. DCH’s conduct was unconscionable, in particular the clients’ allegations of falsification of time records. We are delighted to have been able to achieve this great result for the mechanics, and look forward to obtaining justice for the rest of DCH’s employees.”
Mr. Carlin, a partner in the San Francisco law firm of Phillips, Erlewine, Given & Carlin LLP, and Kirk Hanson of the Law Offices of Kirk Hanson in San Diego are lead counsel for the plaintiffs. The cases involved in the settlement are: Dale v. Lithia Motors, Inc., et al., Los Angeles Superior No. BC586598; Robles, et al. v. Tustin Motors, Inc., et al., Orange Superior No. 30101-2005-79414 CU-OE-CJC; Scott v. DCH Simi Valley Inc., et al., Los Angeles Superior No. BC526936; and Acevedo v. DCH Oxnard Inc., Ventura Superior No. 56-2014-00459096 CU-OE-VTA.
Phillips, Erlewine, Given & Carlin LLC represents workers, consumers and creative people in individual and class actions nationwide.