Cushman & Wakefield faces possible class-action employee lawsuit

Brokerage allegedly stiffed workers out of at least $21.6M

Cushman & Wakefield's John Forrester (Cushman & Wakefield, Getty)
Cushman & Wakefield's John Forrester (Cushman & Wakefield, Getty)

Cushman & Wakefield faces a lawsuit that claims the brokerage firm stiffed workers out of at least $21.6 million in wages and fees. 

The complaint, filed in a San Francisco court on March 30, outlines allegations that Cushman & Wakefield failed to pay minimum and overtime wages and reimburse employees for business expenses. The company also allegedly failed to provide meal periods and rest breaks for workers. 

The case, a putative class-action lawsuit, was filed by a lead plaintiff named Anthony Ports. He works as a mobile engineer out of Cushman & Wakefield’s Costa Mesa, California office, according to the company’s website.  

The proposed class-action, if approved, would cover a total of 1,932 employees. The class includes people who were employed at the firm between March 30, 2019 to the date the complaint was filed. The complaint did not specify where the employees worked.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

According to the petition, the total amount that Cushman & Wakefield supposedly owes its workers is unclear. However, $21.6 million has been set as the minimum amount in question. That figure includes $5.4 million in waiting time penalties, $4.6 million in meal period and rest break premiums, $6.9 million in overtime wages and $4.6 million in minimum wages. 

Cushman & Wakefield recently announced that Michelle MacKay, who has been its chief operating officer since 2020, will be taking over as its new chief executive. She will replace John Forrester, who will retire at the end of June. 

The firm posted a net loss of $76.4 million in the first quarter. The firm attributed the loss to drops in leasing and capital markets revenue. The company also reported difficulties with higher operating costs due to inflation. 

Cushman & Wakefield did not respond to a request for comment. 

The company was formed in 1917. Earlier this month, the company announced that John Cushman III, longtime CEO and grandson of the firm’s co-founder, died at age 82.