FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS THIS LAWSUIT ABOUT?

Plaintiff filed this lawsuit on August 15, 2017, in the Sacramento County Superior Court, against Defendant. Plaintiff is represented by Mayall Hurley P.C. As set forth below, Mayall Hurley P.C. has been appointed by the Court to act as attorneys for the Class (referred to as “Class Counsel”).

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant failed to properly calculate and pay overtime to its employees, failed to provide meal breaks and/or pay meal premiums, that the wage statements furnished by Defendant were inaccurate, and that Defendant failed to pay all wages due and owing to employees at the end of their employment. With regard to the overtime issue, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant underpaid its employees because it failed to account for non-discretionary bonuses when determining its employees’ “regular rate of pay.”

Defendant expressly denies all of the claims in the lawsuit and denies any liability or wrongdoing of any kind. The Court has made no determination about the strengths and weaknesses of the claims or contentions of either Plaintiff or Defendant.

WHO IS COVERED BY THE CLASS ACTION AND PROPOSED SETTLEMENT?

A. Who are the Class Members?
 The proposed settlement covers the claims of certain current and former employees of Defendant (referred to as the “Class Members” and collectively as the “Class”). The Class consists of three subclasses defined as follows:

The proposed settlement covers the claims of certain current and former employees of Defendant (referred to as the “Class Members” and collectively as the “Class”). The Class consists of three subclasses defined as follows:

i. The Overtime Class.
The Overtime Class consists of all individuals who (a) worked for Defendant at Sutter Gould in an hourly, non-exempt position between September 28, 2013 and March 31, 2016; (b) received one or more bonus payments during that period under Sutter Gould’s annual Employee Incentive Plan; and (c) performed overtime work in at least one pay period of the corresponding Plan year(s) for which they received bonuses.

ii. The Meal Break Class.

The Meal Break Class consists of all individuals who worked for Defendant at Sutter Gould in an hourly, non-exempt position between September 28, 2013 and September 3, 2018, and worked at least one shift in excess of six hours.

iii. The Former Employee Class.

The Former Employee Class consists of all individuals who are members of either the Overtime Class or the Meal Break Class, or both, and whose employment with Defendant ended on or before September 3, 2018.

There are approximately 1,845 individuals in the Class, including approximately 1,263 Overtime Class Members; 1,845 Meal Break Class Members; and 607 Former Employee Class Members.

B. What is the Effect of Membership in the Class?

If you are a member of one or more of the Classes defined above, you are automatically a Participating Class Member unless you optout (i.e., exclude yourself from the Settlement) by following the procedures set forth in this Notice. If the Settlement is approved by the Court, you are entitled to a payment under the Settlement and you will be bound by its terms. Individuals who optout will not be bound by the Settlement and will not be eligible to receive a payment.

WHAT ARE THE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENT?

The proposed Settlement was agreed upon between Defendant and Class Counsel after a mediation with renowned employment class action mediator David Rotman, Esq. Class Counsel believes that this Settlement, the terms of which are summarized below, is fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class.

A. Overall Summary of the Settlement Terms.

Defendant will pay a total of $1,300,000 to settle the claims of the Class (referred to as the “Gross Settlement Amount”). The Gross Settlement Amount includes payments to Participating Class Members, the fees and costs of the Administrator, the Service Payment to Plaintiff for his service to the Class, and Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees and costs. The remainder, after deduction of these payments, is known as the “Net Settlement Amount.”

B. Costs of Claims Administrator.

The Parties have agreed to employ Atticus Administration, LLC to serve as Administrator. The Administrator’s fees and costs for administering the Settlement, estimated to be no more than $17,500, if approved by the Court, will be paid out of the Gross Settlement Amount.

C. Service Payment to Class Representative.

Plaintiff has been approved by the Court to serve as Class Representative. As Class Representative, Plaintiff is entitled to payment for his services to the Class. The Parties have agreed, and the Court has preliminarily approved a payment of $7,500, or 0.58% of the Gross Settlement Amount, for Plaintiff’s services to the Class.

D. Class Counsel’s Fees and Costs.

Class Counsel is entitled to attorney’s fees and costs for representing the Class. Class Counsel will request attorneys’ fees of one-third of the Gross Settlement Amount, or $433,333.33, and reimbursement of litigation costs of up to $13,000. Defendant does not object to the fees and costs sought by Class Counsel. The Court has preliminarily approved payment to Class Counsel in the amounts set forth above.

E. Allocation of the Net Settlement Amount

The Net Settlement Amount shall be allocated as follows, subject to the Court’s approval of these amounts: 15% of the Net Settlement Amount, or $124,300.00, shall be distributed to the Overtime Class, 55% of the Net Settlement Amount or $455,766.85, shall be distributed to the Meal Break Class, and 30% of the Net Settlement Amount, or $248,600.15, shall be distributed to the Former Employee Class.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO RECEIVE?

The payments to Participating Class Members (those who do not opt out) will be calculated as follows:

i. For Overtime Class Members –
The Settlement Share for each Participating Overtime Class Member will be determined by dividing the total dollar amount apportioned to the Overtime Class by the total number of Plan Years worked by the Participating Overtime Class Members during the Overtime Class Period, resulting in a payment ratio. The ratio will then be multiplied by the number of Plan Years each individual Participating Class Member was employed to determine his or her individual Settlement Share. “Plan Years” for purposes of this paragraph means Plan Years 2013, 2014 and 2015. Plan Years “worked” or “employed” for purposes of this paragraph means the Plan Years for which each Participating Overtime Class Member received an annual bonus payment.

The Parties estimate that the average payment to each Participating California Overtime Class Member will be approximately $98.74.

ii. For Meal Break Class Members –
The Settlement Share for each Participating Meal Break Class Member will be determined by the number of workweeks worked by the Participating Meal Break Class Member during the Meal Break Class Period in proportion to the total workweeks worked by all Participating Meal Break Class Members. For purposes of this calculation, workweeks will be calculated based on the number of weeks in which a Meal Break Class Member worked at least one shift in excess of six hours.

The Parties estimate that the average payment to each Participating Meal Break Class Member will be approximately $284.55.

iii. For Former Employee Class Members –
The Settlement Share for each Participating Former Employee Class Member will be determined by dividing the total dollar amount apportioned to the Former Employee Class by the number of Former Employee Class Members, with each person receiving an equal share.
The Parties estimate that the payment to each Former Employee Class Member will be approximately $410.29.

WHAT AM I GIVING UP IF I DO NOT OPT OUT OF THE SETTLEMENT?

If the Settlement is approved, each Participating Class Member releases and discharges the Defendant and all of its officers, shareholders, agents, employees, predecessor, successor, and related or affiliated entities (“Released Parties”) from certain claims and liabilities. The released claims of each subclass are set forth below:

(i) Overtime Class Members will release the Released Parties from any and all claims for failure to pay overtime arising during the Overtime Class Period, including all derivative claims (including but not limited to derivative claims related to alleged violations of Labor Code section 203, unfair business practices under California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200 et seq., and inaccurate or non-compliant wage statements under Labor Code §226).

(ii) Meal Break Class Members will release the Released Parties from any and all claims for failure to provide meal breaks and associated premiums arising during the Meal Break Class Period, including all derivative claims (including but not limited to derivative claims related to alleged violations of Labor Code section 203, unfair business practices under California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200 et seq., and inaccurate or non-compliant wage statements under Labor Code § 226).

(iii) Former Employee Class Members will release the Released Parties from any and all claims for failure to pay wages due at separation in violation of Labor Code sections 201-203.

If you do NOT exclude yourself by following the procedures set forth in this Notice and the Court approves the proposed Settlement, you will be deemed to have released the aforementioned claims, as appropriate, and will receive a payment.

HOW DO I RECEIVE A PAYMENT?

All Class Members will receive a payment under this Settlement unless they opt out. You do not need to submit a claim in order to receive a payment. If you are a Class Member and you move or change your address, and you want to receive your payment at your new address, you must send a notice of your change of address to the Settlement Administrator, Sutter Valley Medical Foundation Settlement, c/o Atticus Administration, PO Box 1440, Minneapolis, MN 55440, Telephone: 1-888-212-1151, www.suttervalleymedicalfoundationsettlement.com.

WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR THE SETTLEMENT?

Class Counsel and Plaintiff agreed to enter into the proposed Settlement after weighing the risks and benefits of the Settlement when compared with those of continuing the litigation. The factors that Class Counsel and Plaintiff considered included the strength of the Class Members’ claims, the uncertainty and delay associated with continued litigation, a trial, and appeals, and the uncertainty of particular legal issues that have yet to be determined, including whether the Class would be certified. Class Counsel and Plaintiff balanced these and other substantial risks in determining that the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate in light of all circumstances and in the best interest of Class Members.

Although Defendants deny any liability or wrongdoing of any kind, they have agreed to the Settlement in order to avoid the risks, costs, and disruption of business associated with protracted litigation.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO RECEIVE THE BENEFIT OF THE SETTLEMENT?

If you are a Class Member as defined above, you have the following rights and options under the proposed Settlement:

A. Participate in the Settlement, be represented by Class Counsel, and take no action.

If you take no further action, you will be a Participating Class Member, will be represented by Class Counsel, and will have the right to a share of the Net Settlement Amount. If the Settlement is approved by the Court, you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement and, as set forth above, will be deemed to have released the above-described claims against Defendant. As a Participating Class Member, you will not be charged for the services of Class Counsel.

B. Participate in the Settlement, but elect to hire your own attorney.

If you do not wish to be represented by Class Counsel, you may hire your own attorney. Your attorney must send a Notice of Appearance to the Settlement Administrator at their address, so that it is received no later than April 15, 2019. You will be responsible for any attorneys’ fees and costs charged by your attorney.

C. Exclude yourself from the Settlement by opting out.

If you are a Class Member but do not want to participate in the settlement, you may exclude yourself by opting out. If you choose to opt out, you will lose any right to participate in the settlement and you will not be eligible to receive a share of the Net Settlement Amount. You will be free to pursue any claims you may have against Defendant on your own behalf, but Class Counsel will not represent you.

In order to optout, you must notify the Administrator in writing, at the address listed below. To be effective, your opt-out must be postmarked or delivered to the Administrator no later than April 15, 2019, and must be signed, contain your full name, current home (or mailing address), the last four digits of your Social Security number, and written affirmation of your desire to opt out containing the following or substantially similar language:

“I elect to opt out of the Ali v. Sutter Valley Medical Foundation, Inc. class action settlement. I understand that by doing so, I will not be able to participate in the settlement, and will not receive a share of the settlement.”

If you do not comply with these procedures, you will lose any opportunity to exclude yourself from the settlement, will be a Participating Class Member, will be represented by Class Counsel, and will receive a share of the Net Settlement Amount. If the settlement is approved by the Court, you will be bound by the terms of the settlement and, as set forth above, will be deemed to have released your claims against Defendant as identified above.

D. Object to the terms of the Settlement.

If you wish to remain a participant in the Settlement but you object to any of the terms of the Settlement, you may, but are not required to, object to the Settlement. All objections and supporting papers must (a) clearly identify the case name and number (Ali v. Sutter Valley Medical Foundation, Inc., Sacramento County Superior Court, Case No. 34-2017-00217486), (b) include your full name, address, telephone number, and the last four digits of your Social Security Number, (c) concisely state the grounds for your objection, (d) indicate whether you are represented by counsel and, if so, identify such counsel, (e) indicate whether you would like to appear at the Final Approval Hearing, and (e) be signed. To be timely, your objection must be mailed to the Court and the Administrator, postmarked on or before April 15, 2019.

If you have filed a timely and proper objection, you also may, but are not required to, appear and present argument at the Final Approval Hearing. Objections not timely postmarked or delivered by April 15, 2019 will not be considered by the Court. If you file an objection that is not timely or that does not include the information specified above, you will have no right to appear and present any argument at the Final Approval Hearing.

You may be represented by an attorney at the Final Approval Hearing. Any attorney who will represent an individual objecting to the settlement must file a notice of appearance with the Court and serve counsel for all parties on or before April 15, 2019. All objections or other correspondence must state the name and number of the case – Ali v. Sutter Valley Medical Foundation, Inc., Sacramento County Superior Court, Case No. 34-2017-00217486.

WHEN IS THE COURT HEARING AND WHAT IS IT FOR?

The Court will hold the Final Approval Hearing in the Hall of Justice, Civil Law & Motion/Civil Settlement Division of the Sacramento County Superior Court, located at 813 6th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, on Thursday, May 30, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. in Department 54 to determine whether the settlement should be finally approved as fair, reasonable and adequate. The Court will also be asked to approve the fees and costs of the Settlement Administrator, the Service Payment to the Class Representative, and the fees and costs of Class Counsel. It is not necessary for you to appear at this hearing to participate in the Settlement. If you want to be heard orally in support of or in opposition to the Settlement, either personally or through counsel, you must comply with the procedures set forth above.

WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?

The above is a summary of the basic terms of the Settlement. For the precise terms and conditions of the Settlement, you are referred to the Class Action Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims. The full Settlement Agreement, as well as the pleadings and other records in this litigation, including the Motion for Preliminary Approval, Motion for Final Approval, and Motion for Attorneys’ Fees, Costs and Service Payment, once filed, are available by accessing the Court docket in this case through the Court’s Public Case Access System at https://services.saccourt.ca.gove/publiccaseacess/, or by visiting the Clerk Court at any time between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court Holidays, in the Clerk’s Office located at the Gordon D. Schaber Sacramento County Courthouse, 720 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. You may also view the Court’s Order of Preliminary Approval and, once they are filed, the Motion for Attorneys’ Fees, Costs and Service Payment, Motion for Final Approval, and Order Granting Final Approval, online at www.suttervalleymedicalfoundationsettlement.com.

If you have questions about the Settlement, you may contact Class Counsel or the Settlement Administrator as follows: 

Class Counsel 

Robert J. Wasserman, Esq.
Jenny D. Baysinger, Esq.
2453 Grand Canal Blvd. Stockton, CA 95242
Telephone: (209) 477-3833

Settlement Administrator

Sutter Valley Medical Foundation Settlement
c/o Atticus Administration, LLC
PO Box 1440  Minneapolis, MN 55440
Telephone: 1-888-212-1151

PLEASE DO NOT WRITE OR TELEPHONE THE COURT FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OR THIS LAWSUIT.

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