Lawyer Has 65 Million Reasons to Be Grateful

The Recorder, November 22, 2006

Source: Matthew Hirsch

Some wage and hour lawyers have few extra reasons to be thankful this holiday season. Sixty-five million reasons, to be exact.

Steven Zieff of San Francisco's Rudy, Exelrod & Zieff announced a $65 million settlement Wednesday in a federal suit against IBM. Zieff said the computer maker has agreed to pay back about 30,000 current and former employees who were denied overtime pay.

Zieff said the settlement is an important step toward making sure overtime laws are enforced. "It wouldn't surprise me if other companies took note," he said.

Several California-based plaintiffs' lawyers pitched in on the case including David Lowe, a partner at the Rudy firm, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein's James Finberg, Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen & Dardarian's David Borgen and Lewis, Feinberg, Renaker & Jackson's Todd Jackson.

"This wasn't something that we just came up with. We spent literally many thousands of hours. We did extensive discovery, extensive investigation, interviewed hundreds of workers [and] went through mounds of documents produced by IBM," Zieff said.

Mediators David Rotman and Tony Piazza helped guide the case toward a settlement.

Rosenburg v. IBM, 06-0430 was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District in January. The suit demanded four years of overtime wages for computer installers and maintenance workers in California and three years of back pay for out-of-state employees.