Ralph Lauren $4M Wage Suit Settlement Okayed by Court

May 24, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A federal judge in California has given her preliminary blessing to a $4 million settlement of a wage-and-hour class-action lawsuit against Ralph Lauren.

The San Francisco Chronicle said U.S. District Judge Susan Illston of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California pronounced the deal fair and reasonable and scheduled a final hearing for August 20. The settlement was reached during the March trial of the four-year-old lawsuit.

The newspaper said the deal covered 6,700 Polo Ralph Lauren workers at California retail locations who alleged they were denied rest breaks and locked into their stores for 15 minutes each day without pay while managers checked their possessions for stolen items. Those checks “might be an appropriate loss-prevention tool,” plaintiffs’ lawyer Patrick Kitchin said, but employees should be paid for their time.

The newspaper said Polo store or factory outlet employees in the Golden State from mid-2002 to January 2010 will be notified about the settlement.

Polo denied that it required employees to wait for any substantial period or pressured employees to skip the 10-minute rest breaks that state law guarantees them for every four hours worked.