HPE’s records indicate that you are a woman who is or was actively employed in California by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company between November 1, 2015 and November 3, 2022, the date this Settlement was preliminarily approved, in one of the job codes set forth on the Exhibit A of the Settlement Agreement, and that you were not a recent college hire, and have not entered into a waiver and release or an arbitration agreement with respect to your employment with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.
If you were sent a Class Notice, it is because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of this Action, and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to finally approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement and then any objections and appeals are resolved, a Settlement Administrator appointed by the Court will make the payments described in the Notice. This website and the Notice explains the Action, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.
WHAT IS THIS CASE ABOUT?
Rocio Ross and Claudia Rogus (“Plaintiffs”) were employed by HPE in California in jobs listed on the attached Exhibit A. They are suing on behalf of themselves and Settlement Class Members for Defendant’s alleged failure to provide equal pay (1) in violation of the California Equal Pay Act (“EPA”), Cal. Lab. Code §§ 1197.5, 1194.5 (including violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, Gov. Code § 12940(a)); (2) failure to pay all wages due to discharged and quitting employees, Cal. Lab. Code §§ 201-203, 1194.5; (3) unfair business practices, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 (“UCL”) (including violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act)); and (4) declaratory relief, Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1060 et seq.
HPE denies all of the allegations made by Plaintiffs and denies that it violated any law. The Court has made no ruling on the merits of Plaintiffs’ claims. The Court has only preliminarily approved this Settlement. The Court will decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement at the Final Fairness Hearing.
SUMMARY OF THE SETTLEMENT TERMS
Plaintiffs and Defendant have agreed to settle this case on behalf of themselves and the Settlement Class Members for the Gross Fund Value of $8,500,000. The Gross Fund Value includes: (1) Settlement Administration Costs up to $35,000; (2) a service payment of $15,000 to each Plaintiff for their time and effort in pursuing this case; (3) a $5,000 payment to each Plaintiff and in exchange for a broader release of claims against Defendant; (4) up to $2,833,333.33 in attorneys’ fees and actual verified litigation costs to Class Counsel; (5) the Participating Class Members’ share of any required payroll taxes; (6) HPE’s share of payroll taxes as required by law; and (7) the $400,000 Settlement Dispute Fund (defined below). After deducting these sums, a total of approximately $5,191,666.67 (less Participating Class Members’ share of payroll taxes and HPE’s portion of employer payroll taxes) will be available for distribution to Participating Class Members (“Net Settlement Amount”). Class Counsel’s estimated litigation costs at the time of preliminary approval are approximately $322,000.00.
DISTRIBUTION TO PARTICIPATING SETTLEMENT CLASS MEMBER?
The Net Settlement Amount will be distributed to Participating Class Members (Settlement Class Members who do not elect to opt out of the Settlement) on a pro rata basis based on their proportionate share of wages, bonuses and equity defined by HPE from November 1, 2015 to September 1, 2022 in a job code listed in Exhibit A of the Settlement Agreement (“Individual Settlement Payments”) as determined by dates of employment in the relevant job classification codes and other qualifying information agreed upon by the Parties. This amount is called the “Total Compensation.”
The Settlement Administrator will be provided with the Total Compensation for each Participating Class Member who worked in a job code listed in Exhibit A of the Settlement Agreement during the period of November 1, 2015 to September 1, 2022 as an HPE employee in California. The Settlement Administrator will also be provided with the “Class Total Compensation,” which is the wages, bonuses and equity as defined by HPE paid to all Participating Settlement Class Members for work performed during the period of November 1, 2015 to September 1, 2022, within a job code classification attached in Exhibit A, as determined by dates of employment in the relevant job classification codes and other qualifying information agreed upon by the Parties.
To calculate the Individual Settlement Payments, each Participating Settlement Class Member’s Total Compensation will be divided by the aggregate Class Total Compensation, and then multiplied by the Net Settlement Amount. Under this formula, each Participating Settlement Class Member will receive their pro rata share of the Net Settlement Amount based on their relative compensation during the time period. Defendant’s share of taxes and the Participating Settlement Class Members’ employee share of payroll taxes and withholdings will be withheld from the Individual Settlement Payment. The entire Individual Settlement Payment will be classified as wages.
In addition, a $400,000 sum will be set aside as a Settlement Dispute Fund (“Dispute Fund”) to address any objections raised by a Participating Settlement Class Member for an enhancement of her Individual Settlement Payment. Participating Settlement Class Members shall submit their requests for a monetary enhancement directly to the Settlement Administrator using the Enhancement Request page by March 21, 2023. Any request for an enhancement must be accompanied by documentary evidence and include the last four digits of the Participating Settlement Class Member’s social security number. The Settlement Administrator will review requests for enhancements and make recommendations to approve or deny to Plaintiffs’ Counsel. Any request for enhancement shall be evaluated pursuant to the criteria set forth in Labor Code section 1197.5(a). Counsel for the Parties shall confer and approve any requests. Should approved requests for enhancement exceed the allocation for the Dispute Fund, all approved requests will be reevaluated pro rata so as not to exceed the total allocation of the Dispute Fund. Any unused, residual funds of the Dispute Fund will be distributed pro rata to Participating Settlement Class Members.
Participating Settlement Class Members will have 120 days from the date on which the Individual Settlement Payment check is issued to cash or negotiate their checks. For any check not cashed, the Settlement Administrator will tally the sum value of all unclaimed checks and distribute the amount pro rata to Participating Settlement Class Members.
Your estimated payment is listed on the Notice that was mailed to you. If you believe this information is incorrect and wish to dispute it, or if you believe you are entitled to an enhanced settlement payment due to your individual circumstances, you must submit your dispute to the Settlement Administrator using the Enhancement Request page no later than March 21, 2023. Please include any documentation you have that you contend supports your dispute.
The Individual Settlement Payment will be allocated as wages and reported on an IRS Form W-2. The Notice is not intended to provide legal or tax advice on your Individual Settlement Payment.
YOUR OPTIONS UNDER THE SETTLEMENT
Option 1 – Do Nothing and Receive Your Payment
If you do not opt out, you are automatically entitled to your settlement check because you are a Participating Settlement Class Member. If you do not dispute your settlement share calculation and do not opt out of the Settlement, you will be bound by the Settlement and receive a settlement payment. In other words, if you are a Participating Settlement Class Member, you do not need to take any action to receive the settlement payment set forth above.
Settlement Class Members who do not submit a valid and timely opt out, will be deemed to have fully, finally, and forever released, settled, compromised, relinquished, and discharged the Released Parties of all Released Claims she may have or had upon final approval of this Settlement, entry of judgment, and payment by Defendant to the Settlement Administrator.
Upon entry of the Final Approval Order and Judgment and payment by HPE to the Settlement Administrator, and except as to such rights or claims as may be created by this Agreement, each Participating Settlement Class Member, and each of their respective executors, administrators, representatives, agents, heirs, successors, assigns, trustees, spouses, or guardians, will release each of the Released Parties of and from any and all claims, debts, liabilities, demands, obligations, statutory or civil penalties, wages, other compensation, benefits, liquidated damages, interest, premium pay, guarantees, restitution, disgorgement, preliminary or permanent injunctive relief, declaratory relief, costs, expenses, attorneys’ fees, damages, actions or causes of action of whatever kind or nature, whether known or unknown, contingent or accrued, that were or reasonably could have been pled based on the same facts alleged in the Action, including, but not limited to (1) claims under federal, state and local laws for violation of federal, state and local equal pay laws (except for claims under the Federal Equal Pay Act, which shall be released according to the provisions in Section 10.2); (2) unequal pay or pay discrimination claims based on employment by Defendant; (3) unequal pay under the California Fair Pay Act; (4) violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law; (5) the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1999, as amended; (6) the California Government Code, specifically including, but not limited to, the Fair Employment and Housing Act pursuant to Government Code Section 12900, et seq.; (7) the California Labor Code (including claims for waiting time penalties under Sections 201, 202 and 203 as well as claims under Section 1194.5). The Participating Settlement Class Members agree not to sue or otherwise make a claim against any of the Releasees for any of the released claims in this paragraph. (Settlement Agreement, § 10.1.)
In addition, each Participating Settlement Class Member, by not opting out and further cashing or negotiating their settlement award check, will also be deemed to have opted into the Action for purposes of the federal Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C § 206 (d) et seq. (“Federal EPA”) and their released claims will include a release under the Federal EPA. The Participating Settlement Class Members who have opted into the Action for the purposes of the Federal EPA agree not to sue or otherwise make a claim against any of the Releasees for the Federal EPA claims released in this paragraph. (Settlement Agreement, § 10.2.)
“Releasees” or “Released Parties” refers to Defendant and its present and former affiliates and all of their present and former officers, directors, owners, partners, employees, agents, servants, registered representatives, attorneys, insurers, successors and assigns, and any other persons acting by through, under or in concert with any of them.
In addition, the named Plaintiffs (Ross and Rogus) will, pursuant to Section 10.3 of the Settlement Agreement, execute a general release including any and all claims arising from their employment relationship with HPE. This general release by the Plaintiffs also includes a waiver of California Civil Code Section 1542, which only applies to the named Plaintiffs.
If you would like to receive your Individual Settlement Payment as a digital payment, please visit the Payment Options page.
Option 2 – Opt Out of the Settlement
If you do not wish to participate in the Settlement, you may exclude yourself by submitting a written request to be excluded. Your written request must expressly and clearly indicate that you do not want to participate in the Settlement, and you desire to be excluded from the Settlement. The written request for exclusion must include your name (former names, if any). If you would like to be excluded, you may use the form found HERE. Sign, date, and mail your written request for exclusion by U.S. Mail to the address below.
Ross & Rogus v HPE
c/o Atticus Administration
PO Box 64053
Saint Paul, MN 55164
The written request to be excluded from the Settlement must be postmarked or received by the Settlement Administrator not later than March 21, 2023.
If you exclude yourself from the Settlement then you will get no payment under the Settlement and retain your legal rights to pursue individual claims that would otherwise be released by the Settlement.
Option 3 – Mail an Objection to the Settlement to the Settlement Administrator
If you wish to object to the Settlement, you may mail your written objection to the Settlement Administrator, which should state why you object to the Settlement. Your written objection must provide the case name and number, your full name, address, your reasons why you think the Court should not approve the Settlement, along with any evidence and legal authority, if any, you assert supports your objection, and your signature. Your written objection must be mailed to the Settlement Administrator no later than March 21, 2023. Please note that you cannot both object to the Settlement and exclude yourself. If the Court overrules your objection, you will be bound by the Settlement and will receive your Individual Settlement Payment.
FINAL FAIRNESS HEARING
You may, if you wish, also appear at the Final Fairness Hearing set for April 27, 2023 at 1:30 p.m., in Dept. 1 of the Downtown Superior Court of Santa Clara Superior Court, located at 191 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95113, and raise or discuss your objections with the Court and the Parties at your own expense. You may also retain an attorney to represent you at the Final Fairness Hearing at your own expense. You do not need to object in writing to appear at, or make a verbal objection at, the Final Fairness Hearing.
All written objections, supporting papers and/or notices of intent to appear at the Final Approval Hearing must (a) clearly identify the case name and number (R. Ross & C. Rogus v. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, Santa Clara County Superior Court Case No. 18 CV 337830), (b) be submitted to the Court either by mailing the objection to: Clerk of the Court, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, 191 N. 1st Street, San Jose, California 95113, or by filing in person at the same location; (c) also be mailed to the law firms identified below; and (d) be filed or postmarked on or before March 21, 2023.
Hearings before the judge overseeing the case will be conducted remotely. (As of August 15, 2022, the Court’s remote platform is Microsoft Teams.) Settlement Class Members who wish to appear should contact class counsel at least three days before the hearing if possible. Instructions for appearing remotely are provided at the following link and should be reviewed in advance:
Settlement Class Members may appear remotely using the Microsoft Teams link for Department 1 (Afternoon Session) or by calling the toll-free conference call number for Department 1.
NOTICE OF JUDGMENT
Should the Settlement be finally approved by the Court, the Settlement Administrator shall post to the Settlement Documents page the Judgment entered by the Court for a period of one (1) year after its entry for viewing by Settlement Class Members
The Class Notice is only a summary of this case and the Settlement. For a more detailed statement of the matters involved in this case and the Settlement, you call the Settlement Administrator at 1 (888) 212-1151 or Class Counsel:
FLINN T. MILLIGAN
ZIMMERMAN REED, LLP
6420 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1080
Los Angeles, CA
Telephone: (877) 500-8780
Facsimile: (877) 500-8781
SUSAN E. ELLINGSTAD
KRISTEN G. MARTTILA
KAILEY C. MROSAK
LOCKRIDGE GRINDAL NAUEN PLLP
100 Washington Ave. S., Suite 2200
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Telephone: (612) 339-6900
Facsimile: (612) 339-0981
You may also refer to the pleadings, the Settlement Agreement, and other papers filed in this case, which may be found (a) online on the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara’s Electronic Filing and Service Website at www.scscourt.org, or (b) in person at the Office of the Clerk of the Santa Clara Superior Court, located at 191 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95113, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays and closures.
Additional information regarding the case is available on the Court’s electronic filing and service website at www.scscourt.org.
Due to COVID-19, the Court has enacted health and safety protocols, which include the following:
•Do not enter the courthouse if:
1) You have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days AND have not been fever free without fever reducing medications for 24 hours.
2) You have been ordered or otherwise required to quarantine.
3) You are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
•Individuals entering the courthouse must wear facial coverings over the mouth and nose while in the courthouse. Paper, disposable masks will be provided to persons who do not have one and who request to enter the courthouse. ADA exceptions may apply.
•The court has provided employees and judicial officers with public health-compliant facial coverings to use while working in courthouses.
•Additional information regarding the Court’s COVID-19 protocols may be found here: https://www.scscourt.org/general_info/news_media/covid19.shtml
All inquiries by Settlement Class Members regarding this Class Notice and/or the Settlement should be directed to the Settlement Administrator.
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE CLERK OF THE COURT, THE JUDGE, THE DEFENDANT, OR DEFENDANT’S ATTORNEYS WITH INQUIRIES.