Lexington-based printer maker Lexmark International has been ordered to pay $5.7 million in attorney fees in a class-action lawsuit over its vacation-time policy in California.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gregory Alarcon ruled last week that the plaintiffs were entitled to the attorney fees in addition to a previous judgment of nearly $8 million over Lexmark's "use it or lose it" vacation policy that was found to violate California law.
The lawsuit was filed in 2005 by former employee Ron Molina. It became a class-action suit representing the fewer than 200 current and former employees there dating to the company's founding in 1991. Molina's lawsuit said the workers should not lose compensation for time they did not use. The employees originally asked for about $16 million in damages.
An attorney for the plaintiffs, Sheila Thomas, applauded the court's awarding of attorney fees.
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"Mr. Molina and the class made every effort to resolve this case without a trial," she said. "However, Lexmark refused to do so."
Lexmark has appealed the initial judgment. Executives declined Tuesday to discuss whether they would appeal the awarding of attorneys' fees. However, in its second-quarter filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 8, executives wrote: "The company believes an unfavorable outcome in the matter is probable. The range of potential loss related to this matter is subject to a high degree of estimation."