Real Estate Corporate

Zillow settles compliance review with Department of Labor

zillow lawsuit

(BUSINESS NEWS) Zillow today has settled a long-fought court battle over how they pay their employees, but is not required to admit liability.

It’s been a long time coming

This afternoon, Zillow resolved their compliance review with the Department of Labor, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In other words, the money ball is now rolling.

Former sales employee, Ian Freeman sued Zillow on November 19, 2014 claiming they failed to keep accurate records of hours employees worked, and pressured (“intimidated”) employees to work early, late, and through lunch breaks without pay.

The original suit claimed Zillow owed roughly 120 sales representatives $5 million in overtime.

On February 26, 2016, U.S. District Judge Josephine L. Staton certified the lawsuit as a class action suit so that fellow employees could seek damages without having to file separate lawsuits.

Judge Staton said in her order, “Zillow offers absolutely no evidence that the company, in fact, ever paid a single penny in overtime prior to initiation of this action,” adding that “This omission is even more striking in light of the declaration from Zillow’s expert, which confirms that the company started paying overtime wages only after initiation of this lawsuit.”

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Judge Staton also noted in February that the allegations “raise the possibility of undercompensation… a possibility is not the same as a plausibility.”

Which brings us to today

In May, Zillow settleed the case, agreeing to pay up to $6 million, and the aforementioned compliance review resolved today has fully examined Zillow’s compliance with wage laws pertaining to inside sales consultants employed in their California and Washington offices during a two year period between 2013 and 2015.

According to the SEC filing, “Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Zillow agreed that it will make the voluntary payments contemplated by the Freeman settlement and establish and maintain certain procedures to promote future compliance with the [Fair Labor Standards Act]. The settlement agreement with the DOL does not require Zillow to make any payments which are in addition to those contemplated by the Freeman settlement.”

It is important to note that this settlement does not require Zillow to admit liability, and their statement makes it clear they don’t intend to.

In a statement to The Real Daily, Zillow said, “We cooperated fully with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) review of Zillow’s wage and hour policies. The DOL determined we already fulfilled our obligations to certain current and former sales employees through our settlement of the Freeman class action litigation in May 2016, and that we are not required to make any additional payments. By settling this matter, we are not admitting liability. Our people are our greatest asset, and we work hard to create an environment that is inclusive, rewarding and complies with the law.”

#FreemanSettlement

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