JetBlue to pay flight attendants $3.6M over long-running wage lawsuit

Leonard Zhukovsky /

JetBlue Airways will pay $3.6 million to over 500 of its flight attendants as settlement over a wage lawsuit that began in 2015. 

The flight attendants accused JetBlue (JBLU) of violating California law by failing to pay the workers when they were forced to skip breaks.

In a plaintiff’s notice of unopposed notion, attorneys of JetBlue (JBLU) flight attendants recalled that in 2015, their clients filed a case against their employer, JetBlue Airways, for the following claims under the California Labor Code:  failure to pay minimum wage, failure to pay overtime, waiting time penalties,and failure to provide itemized wage statements.

The plaintiffs sought to move for the preliminary approval of a settlement ($3.6 million), which the notion says, the defendant, JetBlue Airways, does not oppose.

“This $3,600,000 settlement will provide a meaningful payment to the LWDA and significant individual settlement payments to approximately 568 members of the settlement classes,” the plaintiff’s attorneys said. 

The attorneys continued: “The settlement also provides payment to an overtime and final pay class consistent with this Court’s ruling in Plaintiffs’ favor on those claims. The settlement is non reversionary and is not on a claims-made basis.”

The lawsuit was part of a litigation over whether California’s strict and detailed wage laws apply to flight attendants who are based in the state, but spend the vast majority of their time in the air.

Reuters reported that US District Judge Jeffrey White had dismissed many of the claims in 2016 and 2017, but stayed the case pending appeals in several similar lawsuits. After the plaintiff-friendly rulings, White in 2020 changed his stance and revived several claims against JetBlue (JBLU).

The case is Booher v. JetBlue Airways Corp, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 4:15-cv-01203.

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