Beauperthuy, et al. v. 24 Hour Fitness
3:06-cv-00715-SC, United States District Court, Northern District of California
FBBC settles unpaid overtime claims for hundreds of personal trainers and managers against 24 Hour Fitness
In what began as a Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) collective action in the Federal Court for the Northern District of California against 24 Hour Fitness for unpaid overtime for personal trainers and misclassification claims for managers resulted in a settlement paid by 24 Hour exceeding $17.4 million for hundreds of personal trainers and managers. After the FLSA collective action was decertified by the Court (a situation where most firms would simply have given up), FBBC and its co-counsel pressed on, and continued strategizing as to how they could obtain a significant recovery for hundreds of workers in individual arbitrations. Consequently, FBBC innovated a plan to file hundreds of individual arbitration claims in the Federal District court for the Northern District of California. 24 Hour Fitness, which was represented by Littler Mendelson, the largest law firm in the country representing employers in wage and hour cases, with offices around the world, declared “war” in an email on the workers and FBBC, and commenced filing hundreds of competing arbitration petitions in Federal District courts all across the country in Hawaii, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Nebraska, Washington State, and most states in between. FBBC and its co-counsel, through resourcefulness and ingenuity, sizable financial resources to fund the case, and with a team of attorneys just a mere fraction of the size of 24 Hour Fitness’s team, obtained favorable rulings from Federal District courts in each of those states. Ultimately, after 24 Hour’s competing arbitration petitions were dismissed all over the country, 24 Hour brought in a new law firm to arbitrate individual cases in the Federal District court for the Northern District of California. After favorable results for the workers in the first six individual arbitrations, 24 Hour Fitness paid over $17.4 million to settle hundreds of the remaining individual claims. Many of the workers each recovered tens of thousands of dollars from the settlement.