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Court Approves $1.7 Million Settlement of Wage and Hour Claims of Customs and Border Patrol K-9 Officers

December 20, 2017 @ 12:37 am

In November 2017, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. approved a $1.7 million settlement of FLSA and COBRA claims that Robert J. Gaudet, Jr. co-prosecuted against the U.S. Government on behalf of employees of the Customs and Border Protection Service who took a training course for canine detection – in El Paso, Texas and Front Royal, Virginia – but were not paid compensation for after-hours time spent studying.

Court approval is required for any settlement of a FLSA claim.  Although the Government argued no such approval was necessary, the Court sided with arguments researched and drafted by Mr. Gaudet that were submitted to the Court as part of extensive legal briefing.  “I am proud to have been a part of this case on behalf of Canine officers in the Border Patrol who were not paid for training time that benefited their employer, the U.S. Government,” said Mr. Gaudet.

Mr. Gaudet is a lawyer licensed in Texas and Washington who works on cases across the United States with co-counsel. He is also a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA).  Mr. Gaudet is currently prosecuting another case in Washington, D.C. on behalf of employees of a seafood distribution company, OceanPro AKA ProFish, that provides seafood to the White House, the CIA, five-star hotels and restaurants, and over 3,000 customers but that misclassifies its employees as “exempt” from wage requirements and fails to pay them for overtime hours in excess of forty hours per week.

Mr. Gaudet is a fifth-generation El Pasoan whose great-great-grandfather moved to El Paso from Zacatecas, Mexico and whose grandfathers moved to El Paso to serve in the military at Ft. Bliss.  Mr. Gaudet worked for five years at a nationwide class action firm in Seattle, spent 7 years practicing law and teaching in Europe, and moved back to the United States with his wife and colleague, Karin Gaudet-Asmus.  He is currently working on cases nationwide including Seattle, California, Virginia, New York, and Washington, D.C.

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