Barnes & Noble has settled one long-running patent lawsuit and should soon settle a second lawsuit stemming from a class action filed against the company on behalf of certain California employees, the company reported in its third-quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. And although B&N did not disclose terms of either agreement, the company did take a $6.9-million charge to cover legal expenses and costs.
The California case was brought in March 2003, charging that B&N improperly classified assistant store managers, department managers and receiving managers as salaried employees, making them ineligible to receive overtime. The lawsuit argued that those employees, as well as music managers and cafe managers, were entitled to overtime. According to B&N's filing, B&N has reached a settlement with the employee group, and a court hearing is set for December 15 to approve the agreement.
In the patent suit, B&N.com was one of 17 companies sued by Charles E. Hill & Associates, charging that B&N.com infringed on three of its patents. B&N.com reached a settlement with Hill this past summer.