The case involved workers and former workers at Menzies Aviation who said they were paid less than $15 an hour after SeaTac’s minimum-wage law went into effect.
A federal judge on Wednesday approved a court settlement in which Menzies Aviation must pay nearly $8.2 million to resolve the claims of thousands of workers who said they were paid less than $15 an hour after SeaTac’s minimum-wage law went into effect.
U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik in Seattle approved the class-action settlement, which had been reached in September.
That means checks to the affected workers should be going out by next month, said Duncan Turner, the plaintiffs’ lead attorney.
Menzies Aviation, which provides baggage handling, cabin cleaning and other services for airlines, had agreed to allocate $8.19 million to resolve the claims affecting nearly 2,500 current and former employees. Ten percent of that amount will be used to pay attorneys’ fees.
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The lawsuits stemmed from an ordinance SeaTac voters approved that required employers of transportation and hospitality workers to pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour starting Jan. 1, 2014. The ordinance did not include airlines.
Alaska Airlines and other plaintiffs had filed a lawsuit saying the ordinance shouldn’t apply at the airport — an argument the courts rejected. Airport-services companies, including Menzies, may have been waiting for resolution of those lawsuits, to see if the law applied to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, before paying the higher minimum wage.
Menzies declined to comment on the settlement approval.
Former and current Menzies employees can confirm if they’re part of the settlement class, and if their information is correct, at www.seatacminimumwagelawsuit.com/pending-lawsuits/.
If the website lists inaccurate information — such as not including employees who believe they’re eligible, or listing an inaccurate number of years an employee worked at Menzies — or if the employees’ mailing address has changed since they worked for Menzies, they must fill out the form on the website or contact the Badgley Mullins Turner law firm.
If they have not received a letter in the mail stating they’re a member of the class, they should also contact the law firm.
If the information on the website is correct and they have not moved in the past five years, employees don’t need to do anything.
Similar lawsuits have been filed against other employers based at or near Sea-Tac Airport.