WHY DID I GET NOTICE?

A proposed settlement of a class action has been reached. According to Defendant’s records, you have been identified as a member of the Class, and therefore are receiving Notice.

 

WHAT IS THIS LAWSUIT ABOUT?

On February 10, 2020, Plaintiffs Robert L. Burton, Jr., Willie Kennedy, Jr. and Jaskaran Singh filed a lawsuit on behalf of themselves, the State of California, and all Truck Drivers employed by MOGA LOGISTICS, INC. AND HARWINDER SINGH in the State of California since December 4, 2015.  

Plaintiffs alleged, specifically, that MOGA LOGISTICS, INC. AND HARWINDER SINGH failed to issue separate payment for rest breaks, recovery periods, and other non-productive time, failed to timely pay wages during employment, failed to pay overtime wages, failed to pay minimum wages, failed to provide legally compliant meal periods, failed to provide legally compliant rest periods, breached their contracts, failed to pay wages at prevailing rates, willfully misclassified them as independent contractors, failed to pay all wages due to discharged and quitting employees, failed to maintain required records, failed to issue accurate itemized wage statements, and engaged in unlawful business practices.  Additionally, Plaintiffs alleged that these claims give rise to claims for penalties that are owed to the State and the employees pursuant to the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”).

MOGA LOGISTICS, INC. AND HARWINDER SINGH deny Plaintiffs’ claims, and asserts that it has complied with all of their legal obligations to their employees.

 

HAS THE COURT DECIDED WHO IS RIGHT?

No.  The Court has made no decision regarding the merits of Plaintiffs’ allegations or Defendants’ defenses. 

 

WHY DID THIS CASE SETTLE?

The Parties reached a settlement in order to avoid the risk and expense of further litigation.  Plaintiffs and their attorneys believe that the proposed settlement is fair, adequate and in the best interest of the Class Members to whom it applies, given the outcome of their investigation, the consumption of time and resources that would be required in connection with further litigation, and the uncertainty in the law governing some of the claims presented.  Although MOGA LOGISTICS, INC. and HARWINDER SINGH dispute Plaintiffs’ claims and assert they have complied with all of their legal obligations towards their employees, MOGA LOGISTICS, INC. AND HARWINDER SINGH have also concluded that further litigation would be protracted and expensive and would also divert resources and management and employee time. 

 

WHAT ARE THE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENT AND HOW MUCH WILL I RECEIVE?

Defendant will pay a total of $275,000.00 in settlement.  This amount will be paid by Defendant in three installments, with the first payment to be made after July 5, 2022, the second payment to be made on or about September 1, 2022, and the last payment to be made on or about December 30, 2022.  From the $275,000.00 paid, the following amounts will be requested by Class Counsel at the time of the Final Approval Hearing as follows: attorneys’ fees to Class Counsel in an amount not to exceed $91,575.00  (33.3%), litigation costs to Class Counsel in an amount not to exceed $10,000.00, Enhancement Payments to each of the three named Plaintiffs in the amount of $2,000.00 to Robert L. Burton, Jr., $5,000.00 to Willie Kennedy, Jr. and $500.00 to Jaskaran Singh, for a total of $7,500.00, settlement administration costs in an amount not to exceed $10,000.00, penalties to the Labor & Workforce Development Agency under the California Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) (expected to be $12,500.00), and a PAGA Payment which will be distributed to eligible current and former employees who worked at any time from December 4, 2018 through December 4, 2019 (expected to be a total of $3,125.00).

The remainder of this money will be divided pro-rata among Defendant’s current and former employees who are Class Members and do not opt out of the settlement. Based on different types of claims for different types of drivers, settlement payments will be paid out of this net settlement as follows: the Claims Administrator shall calculate gross wages each Class Member was paid during the class period and gross wages each Class Member was paid for Paradise Fire Cleanup work. Eighty percent (80%) of the settlement funds will be allocated for Paradise Fire Cleanup work and twenty percent (20%) for all other work. The Claims Administrator will research any Class Member’s dispute as to whether he/she is receiving the precise payment according to the Settlement Agreement, including whether the member is entitled to Paradise Fire Cleanup pay, and resolve the dispute.  Specifically, the Claims Administrator will share information with the Defendants and counsel for each party, each of whom may provide additional information.  The Claims Administrator will consider all information submitted, make any additional inquiries necessary in its discretion, and make a determination regarding your payment from the net settlement fund. The Claims Administrator’s decision in this regard will be final and binding.

Plaintiffs and Defendant have agreed to allocate 25% of the Individual Settlement Payments to wages and 75% to penalties and interest.  You will be issued a Form W-2 for the payment of wages. Defendant will pay employee-side withholding relative to the payment of wages.  You will also be issued a Form 1099 for the balance of the amount you receive, without any taxes withheld from this portion.  Please be advised that you are responsible for all taxes owed with respect to all payments that you receive, regardless of the foregoing allocations.  You should consult with an accountant or other tax professional with any questions.  Neither the Parties, their lawyers, nor the Court is providing you with tax advice.

You must cash your settlement check by the expiration dated stated on the check.  Your failure to cash the check by the expiration date will result in you not receiving the amount represented by the check because the check will become null and void (but you will still be bound by the settlement and releases).  In such an event, you will need to timely claim the funds from the California State Controller’s Office for Unclaimed Property.

 

WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE NUMBER OF ELIGIBLE WORKWEEKS ATTRIBUTED TO ME?

If you believe that the information above is incorrect regarding the number of compensable workweeks worked by you or your eligibility for payment as part of the Paradise Fire Cleanup Subclass, you will need to write and sign a letter, detailing the number of workweeks that you believe is correct and/or specifying the date on which you separated from Defendants’ employment (whichever is applicable) and enclosing any documentation that supports your position (for example: itemized wage statements) to the Claims Administrator as follows:

Burton, et al v MOGA Logistics Settlement
c/o Atticus Administration, LLC
P.O. Box 64053
St. Paul, MN 55164
Toll Free Number: 1-888-207-0052
Email: MOGALogisticsSettlement@atticusadmin.com

You must submit such information by the response deadline, which is 60 days from the postmark date as listed on the Notice mailed to you.  Make sure that you include your full legal name on the letter, home address, telephone number, and last four digits of your social security number and make clear that you are disputing the number of eligible workweeks worked by you in MOGA LOGISTICS, INC. AND HARWINDER SINGH’s records and/or the date of your separation from MOGA LOGISTICS, INC. AND HARWINDER SINGH’s employment.  Defendants’ records will be assumed to be correct, but the Settlement Administrator will consider any information that you provide to determine the number of compensable workweeks to be credited to you and/or the date of your separation from Defendants’ employment.  The Settlement Administrator’s determination is final and binding on you.

Class Members may submit their information by U.S. Mail or E-mail at MOGALogisticsSettlement@atticusadmin.com.

 

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO RECEIVE A SHARE OF THE SETTLEMENT?

If you wish to receive a payment under the terms of this settlement, you do not have to do anything. However, it is advisable to confirm your current mailing address with the Settlement Administrator in order to ensure that you receive your settlement share.  You will be covered by the release summarized in below.

 

WHAT RIGHTS AM I GIVING UP?

The claims you will Release by doing nothing are: any and all claims, debts, liabilities, demands, obligations, penalties, guarantees, costs, expenses, attorney’s fees, damages, action or causes of action of whatever kind or nature, whether known or unknown, contingent or accrued, that are alleged, related to or that reasonably could have arisen out of the same facts alleged in the class action during the Class Period. This Release shall include, without limitation, claims that were raised, or that reasonably could have been raised out of the same facts alleged in the class action, including without limitation: (i) any and all claims involving any alleged failure to pay minimum and straight-time wages for work performed; (ii) any and all claims involving any alleged failure to authorize and permit legally compliant rest periods, or to pay premiums for non-compliant rest periods, or to pay such premiums at the regular rate of compensation; (iii) any alleged claims involving any alleged failure to provide legally compliant meal breaks, or to pay premiums for non-compliant meal periods, or to pay such premiums at the regular rate of compensation; (iv) any and all claims involving any alleged failure to pay all owed wages each and every pay period; (v) any and all claims involving any allegation that Defendant allowed or required employees to bear any of the costs associated with the operation of Defendant’s business, including but not limited to any claims arising under California Labor Code §§ 2800 and 2802; (vi) any and all claims involving any alleged failure to timely pay wages, including but not limited to any claim that Defendant violated California Labor Code §§ 201 or 202, and any claim for waiting time penalties under California Labor Code § 203; (vii) any and all claims involving any alleged failure to keep accurate records or to issue proper wage statements to employees, including but not limited to any claim that Defendants wage statements do not comply with California Labor Code § 226; (viii) any and all claims for failure to comply with the Unfair Competition Law (Business and Professions Code § 17200 et seq.); (ix) all damages, penalties, interest, costs (including attorneys’ fees) and other amounts recoverable under said claims or causes of action as to the facts and/or legal theories alleged or which could have been pled as wage and hour violations under California law based on the factual allegations set forth in the operative Complaint (collectively, the “Released Claims”).

This release also covers any and all claims, known and unknown, for overtime wages, minimum wages, prevailing wages, liquidated damages, contract damages, meal periods, rest periods, meal and rest period penalties, disgorgement or restitution Labor Code Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) penalties, and statutory or civil penalties and interest for work performed as a driver from December 4, 2015 through December 4, 2019, under California or other state law or federal statute, ordinance, regulation, common law, or other source of law, whether or not such claims are in the nature of back pay, damages, interest, penalties, attorneys’ fees or injunctive relief, whether in contract, or, in equity, or pursuant to a statutory remedy, including, but not limited to: (1) any wage, hour or related record keeping claims arising under the California Labor Code, California prevailing wage laws or contracts, the applicable wage orders of the California Industrial Welfare Commission, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.; (2) any claims for unfair business practices (including unlawful,  deceptive, or unfair business practices prohibited by the California Business and Professions Code § 17200 et seq.) arising out of alleged violations of wage, hour and related record keeping provisions of the California Labor Code, the applicable wage orders of the California Industrial Welfare Commission, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.; (3) penalties under the Labor Code Private Attorney General Act, California Labor Code section 2698 et seq., (4) any other claims relating to overtime wages, prevailing wages, minimum  wages, liquidated damages, meal periods, break periods and penalties.  (The claims being released are referred to in this Agreement as (Settlement Class Members’ Released Claims”), and waive Section 1542 of the California Civil Code or any other similar provision under federal, state, or local law, as to the Released Claims, which provides:

A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS WHICH THE CREDITOR DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS OR HER FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE, WHICH IF KNOWN BY HIM OR HER MUST HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS OR HER SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR.

 

 

WHAT IF I DO NOT WISH TO BE INVOLVED?

Anyone not wishing to participate in this settlement may exclude himself or herself (“opt out”) by sending a written request for exclusion to the Settlement Administrator by U.S. mail at the address below.  The request for exclusion must include your full legal name, home address, telephone number and the last four digits of your social security number and be signed by you or your authorized representative, indicating that you wish to exclude yourself from the Settlement.  The request for exclusion must be postmarked on or before 60 days of the date as listed on the Notice.

If your request for exclusion is postmarked after the deadline it will be rejected, and you will be a Settlement Class Member and be bound by the settlement terms.

Anyone who submits a timely and valid request for exclusion shall not be deemed a Class Member and will not receive any payment other than his or her share of the PAGA Payment and will be bound by the release of PAGA Claims only (if applicable to them).  Such persons will keep any rights to sue MOGA LOGISTICS, INC. AND HARWINDER SINGH separately about the claims in this lawsuit.  Requests for exclusion must be sent to:

Burton, et al v MOGA Logistics Settlement
c/o Atticus Administration, LLC
P.O. Box 64053
St. Paul, MN 55164
Toll Free Number: 1-800-578-9164
Email: MOGALogisticsSettlement@atticusadmin.com

 

WHAT IF I HAVE AN OBJECTION?

Any objection to the settlement must be submitted in writing by U.S. Mail and specify the reason(s) for the objection and be mailed to the Settlement Administrator and postmarked no later than the Notice Response Deadline, which is 60 days from the date of the Settlement Administrator’s mailing of the Notice Packet to you. The objection must state your: (i) full legal name, home address, telephone number, last four digits of your social security number (for identity verification purposes); (ii) the words “Notice of Objection” or “Formal Objection”; (iii) in clear and concise terms, the legal and factual arguments supporting the objection; (iv) a list identifying the witness(es) you may call to testify at the Final Approval Hearing; and (v) true and correct copies of any exhibit(s) you intend to offer at the Final Approval Hearing.

The Court will hear from any Class Member who attends the Final Approval Hearing and asks to speak regarding his or her objection without the need to file a written objection or notice of appearance. Written objections will not be presumptively invalidated if the objections do not comply with all requirements, other than timeliness. Either Plaintiffs or Defendant may file a responsive document to any objection with the Court.

 

DO I NEED A LAWYER?

You do not need to hire your own lawyer, because Class Counsel is working on your behalf.  However, if you want your own lawyer, you are free to hire one at your own expense.

Class Counsel:
Sarah S. Wright
The Wright Law Office
101 Lucas Valley Rd, Suite 266
San Rafael, CA 94903
Telephone: (415) 472-5900

Houman Chitsaz
Nardell Chitsaz & Associates LLP
999 Fifth Avenue, Suite 230
San Rafael, California 94901
Telephone: (415) 306-5560
Facsimile: (415) 455-9482

Counsel for MOGA LOGISTICS, INC. and HARWINDER SINGH:
Shane K. Anderies, Esq.
Anderies & Gomes LLP
505 Montgomery Street, Floor 11
San Francisco, California 94111
Telephone: (415) 217-8802
Facsimile: (415) 217-8803
sanderies@andgolaw.com

 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The Settlement has only been preliminarily approved by the Court.  The Sonoma County Superior Court will hold a hearing on June 1, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. at 3055 Cleveland Ave, Courtroom 19, Santa Rosa, California, 95403 to determine whether the settlement should be finally approved as fair, reasonable, and adequate.  The Court also will be asked to approve Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of costs and expenses and the awards to be paid to Plaintiffs. The hearing may be continued without further notice to the Class.  IT IS NOT NECESSARY FOR YOU TO APPEAR AT THIS HEARING unless you object to the proposed settlement and you have timely filed a notice of intention to appear and an objection with the Court. You should check the court’s website at www.sonoma.courts.ca.gov for COVID-19 restrictions.

 

HOW CAN I RECEIVE MORE INFORMATION?

The above is a summary of the basic terms of the Settlement.  The pleadings and other records in this Litigation, including the settlement agreement, may be examined at any time during regular business hours at the Office of the Clerk of the Sonoma County Superior Court, 600 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa, California, 95403. You should check the court’s website at www.sonoma.courts.ca.gov for COVID-19 restrictions.

Documents about the case, including the Settlement Agreement can be found HERE.

For further information, you may also telephone the Claims Administrator at 1-800-578-9164 or Class Counsel (listed above). When you contact the Claims Administrator, please put the last four digits of your social security number on all correspondence to the Claims Administrator.  If you move after receiving this Notice, or if it was incorrectly addressed, please provide your correct address to the Claims Administrator, at the address and telephone number listed above.

Please DO NOT telephone the Court, the Office of the Clerk, MOGA LOGISTICS, INC. or HARWINDER SINGH for information regarding this settlement.