Zillow entered into a settlement agreement on Monday with the U.S. Department of Labor that will resolve the agency’s compliance review of the Seattle-based real estate media company stemming from a May 5 class action lawsuit settlement.
According to a Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Zillow settled the case Ian Freeman vs. Zillow, Inc. in the United States District Court, Central District of California. The suit involved allegations that “Zillow failed to provide meal and rest breaks, failed to pay overtime, and failed to keep accurate records of employees’ hours worked, in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California law with respect to certain inside sales consultants.”
A June report in the Orange County Register newspaper said that the case was filed on behalf of at least 120 hourly sales consultants working in Irvine, Calif., who maintained that they were pressured into working early, late and through lunch breaks without pay. The case was certified as a class action lawsuit in February.
The settlement included payment by Zillow of up to $6 million. It was subject to court approval and contingent upon Zillow’s resolution of a review by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. The DOL was charged with “monitoring Zillow’s compliance with certain wage and hour laws with respect to Zillow inside sales consultants employed in its California and Washington offices during a two year period between 2013 and 2015,” the SEC form stated.
Monday’s settlement agreement with the DOL came after Zillow agreed “to make the voluntary payments contemplated by the Freeman settlement and establish and maintain certain procedures to promote future compliance with the FLSA.” The settlement agreement does not require Zillow to make any payments beyond those in the Freeman settlement, and Zillow has not admitted liability with respect to either the DOL settlement or the Freeman settlement.
“We worked closely with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to quickly and effectively resolve this situation,” Zillow said in a statement to GeekWire. “Prior to the DOL’s review, we had already made the necessary improvements to our timekeeping system and employee education processes to ensure accurate tracking and reporting of time. By reaching a settlement with the DOL, we are also able to finalize a separate settlement agreement we previously reached in the Freeman class action litigation that will provide back-wages to certain employees. Zillow will not be required to make any payments in addition to those sales employees already contemplated in the Freeman class action settlement. Our people are our greatest asset, and we work hard to create an environment that is inclusive, rewarding and complies with the law.”