Cumulus settles lawsuit by San Francisco sales staffers


Cumulus Media has settled a class action lawsuit in federal court over allegations it violated labor laws in payments and reimbursements to sales employees at its San Francisco stations – the stations owned prior to adding those from Citadel Broadcasting. Total payments to current and former staffers will total $923K, including legal fees.

Former AE Brian Mas was lead plaintiff in the class action lawsuit, which claimed that Cumulus Media Partners (CMP) – recently merged into Cumulus Media – improperly classified sales staffers as exempt from California wage and hours laws and failed to reimburse them for business expenses.

CMP denied the allegations, but a court-appointed mediator managed to get the parties to agree to a settlement.

As lead plaintiff Mas is to be paid $20K for his role in bringing the lawsuit and providing documentation and testimony. Patricia Stanton is to be paid $15K and Minda Phillips $10K for their assistance. They each provided documentation to support the claims made by the lawsuit.

Of course, the lawyers are being paid as well. $25K of the settlement will go to the class action lawyer who filed the suit and $18K to the mediator. Another $40K is expected to go to the costs of documenting and carrying out payments under the settlement.

Current and former employees eligible for settlement payments should receive notices when the settlement payments are calculated. The human resources department at Cumulus will be reviewing its management system payroll records to determine who is to be paid – and how much. There’s also a mechanism in the settlement agreement to resolve any disputes over the payment determinations.