Los Angeles City Council to settle meal break lawsuit brought by Bureau of Sanitation drivers



City sanitation workers accused the city of failing to give them meal breaks as required by law. (Thinkstock)

The Los Angeles City Council agreed today to pay $26 million to settle a lawsuit brought by city sanitation employees who accused the city of failing to offer meal breaks as required by state law.

The amount settles a 2006 lawsuit brought on behalf of 1,074 current and former Bureau of Sanitation drivers.


The likely damages suffered by the plaintiffs amounts to about $40 million, according to a motion introduced by Councilman Paul Krekorian, chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.

The council voted 9-2 — with Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander dissenting — to have class-action settlement processing company Simpluris distribute $17.3 million to the affected sanitation employees. The remainder of the settlement will be paid to two law firms.

The funds will be taken out of the city’s Solid Waste Resources Revenue Fund, according to the motion.

The council had already granted conditional approval of the settlement in February, during closed session, but because the amount still required court approval, the decision was not made public at the time, according to the motion.

Once the court approves the agreement, the city is required to disclose the conditional approval and “identify the substance of the agreement.”