The lawsuit said that the company relegated black employees toÂ back-of-the-kitchen work and denied them promotional opportunities…Under the settlement, anyone who worked for Covelli’s Panera franchises fromÂ Jan. 11, 2008, through Jan. 11, 2012, for more than one year, and applied for orÂ wanted a promotion, can get compensation for alleged lost opportunities…forÂ each hour worked after their first year, they can get 70 cents — roughly whatÂ they would have gotten through a one-level promotion.
Around 200 to 300 current or former employees of Panera Bread franchiseeÂ Covelli Enterprises stand to get payments under a class action lawsuitÂ settlement that won preliminary approval from a federal judge at a hearingÂ today.
Attorney Sam Cordes, who represents Mr. Vines and the class of employees,Â told U.S. District Chief Judge Gary Lancaster that the settlement terms willÂ soon be published in newspapers in areas in which Covelli franchisesÂ operate.
Judge Lancaster gave the settlement his initial nod, though he is expected toÂ hold a hearing to hear any objections from class members. Neither Mr. Cordes nor the attorney for Covelli would comment after theÂ hearing. Neither had an estimate of the costs to the firm.
In addition to the payments to black employees, Mr. Vines would get $10,000Â and Mr. Cordes $66,000 under the settlement agreement.