Popular vitamin and health supplement retailer GNC, as well as an 8,000-member class of its current and former employees, is requesting a California federal court to approve a $9 million settlement, putting an end to allegations stating the company violated federal wage and labor laws. The settlement agreement also includes additional costs up to $20,000 for disbursing the settlement payment to the class members, thus ending “all issues in the pending litigation.”
Upon being certified in late 2014, the class action claimed GNC was responsible for breaking several labor and wage laws, ranging from failing to provide meal breaks and overtime pay to inaccurate wage statements and refusal to pay wages within required time limits.
If the class had successfully prevailed in every one of its claims made in trial, the maximum payout would’ve likely exceeded more than $25 million; however, even the plaintiffs admitted that it would be “unlikely” in its joint motion for preliminary approval. The workers also stated that since GNC “continues to deny any liability or wrongdoing” in the class action, the $9 million settlement is the best outcome for the time being, especially considering how an appeal would be likely from any judgement by the retailer.
If the settlement is approved, the class action’s six named plaintiffs are due to receive awards from $2,500 to $15,000 each, totaling $50,000 of the $6 million. The settlement also calls for $10,000 to be held aside for about three months in order to allow any other employees not within the class to make a valid claim. If the $10,000 still has remaining funds left over following the three-month period, the leftover amount will be donated to the Warriors to Work program, which is operated by the Wounded Warriors Project, or another charity of GNC’s choosing.
The GNC settlement hearing is dated for April 19.