Walton, et al. v. AT&T Services, Inc.
Walton v. AT&T Settlement Administrator
3:15-cv-03653-VC

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • The purpose of the Notice is to let individuals know that there is a class and collective action lawsuit pending in the United States District Court, Northern District of California, entitled Walton v. AT&T Services, Inc., Case No. 15-cv-03653-VC (the “Lawsuit”). A Class Notice was sent to individuals who, according to AT&T’s records, worked as either a Senior Training Manager Design (“Designer”) or Senior Training Manager Delivery (“Deliverer”).

    The Court authorized that a notice be sent because individuals have a right to know about a proposed settlement of the Lawsuit, and about their options, before the Court decides whether to grant final approval of the settlement.  If the Court approves it and after any objections and appeals are resolved, the Walton v. AT&T Settlement Administrator, appointed by the Court, will make the payments that the settlement allows.
     

  • In the lawsuit, Plaintiffs claimed that AT&T misclassified Designers and Deliverers as exempt from the overtime pay requirements of federal and California state law, and consequently failed to pay them overtime pay.  The lawsuit asked the Court to require AT&T to pay overtime backpay, penalties, interest, and other payments.  AT&T denies that it did anything wrong and contends that, among other things, that it has complied at all times with applicable federal and California law.

  • In a class action, one or more people, called Class Representatives (in this case, Wendell Walton and Michael Mantonya), sue on behalf of people who have similar claims.  All these people with similar claims are Class Members.  One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.  The Honorable Vince Chhabria, United States District Judge, is in presiding over this class action.

  • The Court did not decide in favor of either party.  Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement, which, if approved, brings the litigation to an end.  That way, Plaintiffs and AT&T avoid the cost, delay, and uncertainty of moving forward in litigation to trial and possible appeals, and the class members will get compensation.  The Class Representatives and the attorneys for both sides think that the settlement is fair, reasonable, adequate and in the best interests of the members of the class and all parties.

  • Judge Chhabria determined that everyone who fits this description is a Settlement Class Member: 

    All individuals who worked for AT&T Services, Inc. or AT&T Mobility Services LLC who are not bound by the Management Arbitration Agreement and who worked in the job title of Senior Training Manager Design or Senior Training Manager Delivery (1) from May 18, 2011 to October 16, 2017 for California-based employees; (2) from May 18, 2012 to October 16, 2017 for non-California employees who opted in to the Lawsuit; and (3) from August 18, 2014 to October 16, 2017 for non-California employees who did not opt in to the Lawsuit.

    Contact the Settlement Administrator toll-free at 1-844-877-5809 for more information.

  • AT&T has agreed to pay up to $2,750,000 to cover the claims of Class Members who follow the proper procedure to receive a share of that amount.  Each Class Member who followed the proper procedure to receive a payment will receive a share of that amount.  Except for those individuals who worked outside of California and did not already opt into the case, unclaimed money will be redistributed to Class Members who chose to receive a payment, if feasible, or sent to the California Industrial Relations Unclaimed Wages Fund.

    Existing Opt-Ins/California Class Members:  An estimated share of the settlement is included with the Class Notice sent to Existing Opt-Ins and California Class Members.  Each Class Member’s recovery depends on (a) whether the Class Member previously opted in to this case, (b) whether he or she worked for AT&T in California, and (c) the number of weeks worked during the time period covered by the settlement.

    Future Opt-Ins: The estimated share Future Opt-Ins will receive under the settlement is preprinted on the customized green Claim Form, which is included with the Notice.  Each Future Opt-In’s recovery depends on (a) whether the Future Opt-In previously opted in to this case or worked in California, and (b) the number of weeks worked during the time period covered by the settlement.  If the personal information listed in the green Claim Form is incorrect, please contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-844-877-5809
     

  • If Class Members followed the proper procedure to receive a payment, then Qualified Claimants will be mailed a check for their share of the settlement.  Under the current schedule, Qualified Claimants should receive their check around March 2018.


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  • Existing Opt-Ins/California Class Members: According to AT&T's records, Existing Opt-Ins and California Class Members already opted in or worked exclusively in California, so they only needed to submit the enclosed yellow Arbitration Agreement Form included in the Notice packet to get their share of the settlement funds.  Under the Arbitration Agreement they were required to submit any future claims against AT&T arising out of their employment to binding arbitration.  They do not need to do anything else to claim their share of the settlement funds.  If they fail to return a signed Arbitration Agreement, they will not receive any money until they return the signed Arbitration Agreement.  Existing Opt-Ins and California Class Members will have 180 days to return the signed Arbitration Agreement before the settlement check expires.

    Future Opt-Ins: According to AT&T's records, Future Opt-Ins worked at least some time for AT&T outside of California.  They now have the opportunity to participate in the settlement and receive a payment.  Therefore, they must have submitted the green claim form and the yellow Arbitration Agreement Form included in the Notice, postmarked (or received by the Settlement Administrator by e-mail) by December 28, 2017, to receive money under the settlement.  If any Future Opt-Ins have properly and timely completed and submitted a qualifying Claim Form, they will be entitled to a share of the settlement funds.  Claim Forms postmarked or emailed after December 28, 2017 will not be paid.  If they did not properly submit a green Claim Form and yellow Arbitration Agreement Form, they will not receive any money.

  • The Court will held a hearing on February 1, 2018, to decide whether to approve the settlement.  Judge Chhabria approved the settlement, and if there are no appeals, we estimate that checks will be mailed around March 1, 2018.  However, because it is always possible for there to be unexpected delays or appeals, it is possible that the payments will be delayed by a year or more, or that an appeals court will determine that the payments cannot be made.  Please be patient.  We will provide regular updates of the status of the Settlement under Key Dates.

  • Existing Opt-Ins/California Class Members: According to AT&T's records, Existing Opt-Ins and California Class Members previously opted in or worked for AT&T exclusively in California.  Unless they excluded themselves, these Class Members will remain as part of the Class and receive a payment if they sign the yellow Arbitration Agreement and follow the procedures described in Question 8 above, which means that they cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against AT&T over the federal and state-law wage and hour issues in this case.  It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to and legally bind them.  In other words, Class Members agree to the “Release of Claims” below, which describes the legal claims that they give up if they get settlement benefits.

    Future Opt-Ins: According to AT&T's records, Future Opt-Ins did not previously opt in and worked for AT&T at least some time outside California.  These individuals must have submitted a Claim Form to be part of the Class.  If they submitted a Claim Form, signed the yellow Arbitration Agreement and followed the procedures described herein, which means that they cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against AT&T over the federal and state-law wage and hour issues in this case.  It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to and legally bind them.  In other words, they agree to the “Release of Claims” below, which describes the legal claims that they give up if they get settlement benefits.

    Release of Claims:  With the exception of claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for Class Members who do not make claims, each member of the Settlement Class releases AT&T and any parent, subsidiary, affiliate, predecessor or successor, and all agents, employees, officers, directors and attorneys thereof from any and all claims, debts, liabilities, demands, obligations, guarantees, costs, expenses, attorney’s fees, damages, action or causes of action contingent or accrued for, which would arise from the allegation that AT&T misclassified Class Members as exempt under state or federal wage and hour law for that individual’s time period covered by the settlement, tied to the allegations in the complaint. This would include but not be limited to claims arising under the California Labor Code, California Business & Professions Code (including Section 17200) or any other wage and hour statute (except the FLSA); the Wage Orders of the California Industrial Welfare Commission; claims for restitution and other equitable relief, liquidated damages, punitive damages, waiting time penalties, penalties of any nature whatsoever, whether known or unknown, during the Settlement Period, arising from the underlying allegation of exempt misclassification. Per the requirements of the FLSA, however, the release of FLSA claims shall apply only to those Class Members who submit or are deemed to have already submitted claims under this settlement.
     

  • To have submitted an exclusion request, opt out of the settlement, and not release any claims, Class Members must have sent a letter saying that they wanted to be excluded from Walton v. AT&T Services, Inc., and that they understood that they would not receive money from it.  Class Members must have included their name, address, telephone number, and signature, as well as their AT&T employee ID number or the last four digits of their Social Security number.  Class Members must have submitted their exclusion (opt-out) request postmarked no later than December 28, 2017 (or received by the Settlement Administrator if sent by e-mail) to:

    Walton v. AT&T Settlement Administrator
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 91307
    Seattle, WA 98111
    Email: info@attovertimepay.com

    Class Members could not have excluded themselves (opt-out) by phone.  If a Class Member asked to be excluded, they will not get any settlement payment, and they cannot object to the settlement.  Class Members will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit.  They may be able to sue (or continue to sue) AT&T in the future.
     

  • No.  If Class Members exclude themselves, they will not receive money.  But they may sue, continue to sue, or be part of a different lawsuit against AT&T on their own.

  • Claim Forms and settlement checks are being handled by an independent, experienced Settlement Administrator.  Exclusion requests and comments on the settlement (including objections) are also to be sent to the Settlement Administrator.  The Settlement Administrator will report to AT&T (as well as the Class Members' lawyers, called Class Counsel) regarding which Claim Forms, exclusion requests, and comments (including objections) were submitted.

    AT&T has agreed that no information about these submissions (or lack thereof) will be shared within the company unless there is a need-to-know in order to implement the settlement or conduct business.  For example, this information may be viewed by a small number of people in Human Resources who need to process the information for tax purposes.
     

  • The Court appointed the following attorneys to represent Class Members:  Jahan C. Sagafi, Michael N. Litrownik, and Relic Sun of Outten & Golden, LLP; and Jason C. Marsili and Brianna M. Primozic of Posner & Rosen LLP.

    Together, the lawyers are called "Class Counsel" or "Plaintiffs’ Counsel."  Class Members will not be charged for these lawyers’ work in securing the settlement benefits for Class Members.  If an individual Class Member wants to be represented by their own lawyer, they may hire one at their own expense.

  • Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees of up to 35% of the $2,750,000 fund (which is $962,500), and out-of-pocket costs of up to $100,000, according to the terms of the Settlement Agreement.  The attorneys’ fees and costs, as awarded by the Court, shall be paid from the $2,750,000 fund created by the settlement.  In addition, Class Counsel will apply to the Court for a service award of up to $20,000 for the lead Plaintiffs, Wendell Walton and Michael Mantonya, and $5,000 each for seven additional Class Members who provided evidence in this case. These service awards are being requested in recognition of the time, effort, and risk incurred by the Plaintiffs and Class Members in securing this settlement for the Class Members.  In addition, these Plaintiffs are subject to a broader release of legal claims than the other Class Members are.

  • Class Members who decided to participate in the settlement could have commented on (including objecting to) the settlement.  They could have given reasons why they think the Court should or should not approve it.

    The Court cannot order a larger settlement; it can only approve or deny the settlement.  If the Court denies approval, there will be no settlement at this time, no settlement payments will be sent out, and the lawsuit will continue.

    Individuals may have commented on and objected to the proposed settlement in writing. They may have also appeared at the Final Approval Hearing, either in person or through their own attorney.  If individuals chose to appear through their own attorney, they were responsible for paying that attorney.

     All written comments and objections and supporting papers must have:

    (a)    clearly identified the case name and number (Walton v. AT&T Services, Inc., Case Number 15 Civ. 3653); 
    (b)    been submitted to the Court either by mailing them to the Class Action Clerk:

    United States District Court for the Northern District of California
    450 Golden Gate Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94102-3489

           or by filing them in person at any location of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and; 
    (c) be filed or postmarked on or before December 28, 2017.

    The Court will only require substantial compliance with the requirements for submitting an objection.
     

  • Objecting is simply telling the Court that a Class Member does not like something about the settlement.  Individuals can object only if they stay in the Class.  Submitting an Exclusion request is telling the Court that the individual Class Member does not want to be part of the Class.  Individuals excluding themselves have no basis to object because the case no longer affects them.

  • The Court held a fairness hearing at:

    February 1, 2018, 10:00 am PST
    United States District Court for the Northern District of California
    450 Golden Gate Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94102-3489

    Before the Honorable Vince Chhabria, United States District Judge, the Court considered whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate.  If there are objections, the Court will consider them.  Judge Chhabria will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing, if any.  The Court also decided how much to pay Class Counsel.  After the hearing, the Court approved the settlement.  

  • No.  Class Counsel represents all Class Members and answered questions Judge Chhabria had.  But individuals were welcome to come at their own expense.  If a Class Member sent a comment (including an objection), they did not have to come to Court to talk about it.  As long as it was mailed on time, the Court will consider it.  They may have also paid their own lawyer to attend, but it was not necessary.

  • Class Members may have asked the Court for permission to speak at the fairness hearing.  To do so, they must have sent a letter to the Settlement Administrator at the address listed in Question 11, saying that it is their “Notice of Intention to Appear at the Fairness Hearing in Walton v. AT&T Services, Inc.”  They must have included their name, address, telephone number, and signature.  Their Notice of Intention to Appear must have been postmarked or emailed no later than December 28, 2017. This requirement may be excused upon a showing of good cause.

    Individuals who excluded themselves cannot speak at the hearing because the case no longer affects them.
     

  • Existing Opt-Ins/California Class Members: According to AT&T's records, Existing Opt-Ins and California Class Members previously opted in or worked for AT&T exclusively in California.  If they did nothing, they will release their claims as described above in Question 10 and will not receive any money from the settlement.

    Future Opt-Ins: According to AT&T's records, Future Opt-Ins have not previously opted in and worked for AT&T at least some time outside California.  If they did nothing, they will not receive a settlement payment, nor will they release any claims.

    No individual is required to take any action or not take any action.  It is their choice.

  • The Class Notice is intended to be a summary of the terms of the Settlement.  The Settlement Agreement, Fourth Amended Complaint, the Class Notice, and other documents are all available for download under Important Documents

    Individuals may also obtain this information by contacting the Settlement Administrator toll-free at 1-844-877-5809, class counsel at Outten & Golden LLP at (415) 638-8800, by accessing the Court docket in this case through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov, or by visiting the office of the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California at:

    450 Golden Gate Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94102-3489
    (9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays)

    PLEASE DO NOT TELEPHONE THE COURT OR THE COURT CLERK’S OFFICE TO INQUIRE ABOUT THIS SETTLEMENT OR THE CLAIM PROCESS.
     

For More Information

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Mail

Walton v AT&T Settlement Administrator
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 91307
Seattle, WA 98111