BOISE — A judge has approved a $53.3 million settlement that will pay thousands of Albertson’s LLC employees who said the former Boise-based company didn’t pay overtime and forced them to work off the clock.
U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill on Thursday approved the settlement that will pay an average of $7,000 to more than 7,000 employees. Some will receive as much as $28,000.
Albertson’s was sold for about $9.7 billion in June to a consortium of stores that include grocery-store chain Supervalu Inc., the nation’s third-biggest supermarket chain based in Eden Prairie, Minn.
As part of the settlement announced, Supervalu also agreed to pay $6.5 million in attorney’s fees.
“As we work to build a best-in-class organization, SuperValu believes that it is in the best interests of the company and our associates to reach agreement on all these claims,” the company said in a statement. “SuperValu is committed to full compliance with all laws governing the work place. We expect that all associates will be fully paid for all work performed and that no work will be performed off the clock.”
Employees filed 10 federal and state lawsuits in 1996 and 1997 against Albertson’s, and those suits were combined as part of a class action lawsuit.
Lori Barton, who worked at a Mountain Home store, filed a lawsuit in 1997, claiming she worked more than 100 overtime hours without being paid.
The Seattle-based law firm Webster, Mrak and Blumberg represented the employees.
“This is among the highest settlements you’ll find anywhere,” Rick Blumberg told the Idaho Statesman. “A significant justice was done, and we feel very good about it.”