The United States District Court for the Northern District of California has granted final approval to a class action settlement reached by the parties in Akaosugi v. Benihana National Corp., Case No. 11-cv-01272 (WHA). The plaintiffs and class members were represented by Kevin R. Allen, Brad Yamauchi, and Glicel Sumagaysay of Minami Tamaki LLP.
The Court previously certified two subclasses (May 2012), consisting of current and former employees of Benihana-branded teppanyaki-style restaurants in California, based on allegations that Benihana had a “use-it-or-lose-it” vacation policy which required employees to forfeit vacation without pay in violation of California wage laws. Minami Tamaki LLP was appointed to act as class counsel on behalf of those subclasses.
The settlement, which received final approval from the court on January 24, 2013, provides over $440,000 to a class of over 1,600 employees – this is nearly equal to the total amount of lost wages the class could have recovered had they prevailed at trial on their vacation pay claims.
Please contact us for more information or to speak with Minami Tamaki LLP about other employers who may have similar vacation policies.