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May 10, 2013 / Admin

Chicago Tribune and Reporters Settle Class Action

Forty-six current and former reporters who worked for the TribLocal, a division of the Chicago Tribune, have reached a settlement in a class action suit over unpaid overtime.  The Chicago Tribune has agreed to pay $660,000 to reporters who worked for TribLocal between February 2009 and September 2012.

ChicagoTribune-SignThe suit was filed in Federal Court in Chicago for staff reporter Carolyn Rusin, who worked for TribLocal from July 2010 to October 2011.  According to the suit, she regularly worked more than 40 hours per week, typically needing 50 to 60 hours to complete assignments.  She did not receive all the overtime pay owed to her, however.  For example, she was only paid five hours of overtime in 2011.

According to federal law, employers must pay employees one and a half times their hourly wage for all hours worked after 40 per week.  There are exceptions for various professions and positions.  Journalists may are among the types of employees that may be exempt from overtime rules, but it depends on the type of work that they do.  TribLocal was designed by the Chicago Tribune to report on local community news in the surrounding Chicago area.  Rusin and the other TribLocal reporters who were part of the suit generally covered local governmental meetings.  Because of the focus of their work, the reporters asserted they were not exempt from the overtime rules.

California law also requires overtime payments to employees of one and one half times their hourly rate for all hours worked over 40 in a week.  California also requires that employees receive one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight hours in a workday.  California also requires employees receive double their pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday.  The California law, like the federal law, is subject to various exceptions.

If you or someone you know has not received overtime that they were entitled to, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.


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