NOTICE OF CLASS AND COLLECTIVE ACTION CLAIMS FOR ALLEGED FAILURE TO PAY OVERTIME WAGES
This is a Court-Authorized Notice
Violeta Solis, et al. v. The Circle Group, LLC, et al.
Civil Action No. 16-CV-01329-RBJ (D. Colo.) (the “Lawsuit”)
TO: ALL EMPLOYEES OF CIRCLE GROUP OR ANY PERSON OR INDIVIDUAL CONTRACTOR WHO PERFORMED DRYWALL LABOR OR CONSTRUCTION-RELATED LABOR UNDER CIRCLE GROUP ON THE SKYHOUSE DENVER PROJECT BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 2015 AND JULY 2016.
RE: YOUR RIGHTS IN A LAWSUIT SEEKING ALLEGED UNPAID WAGES AND OVERTIME PREMIUMS
YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS IS IRRELEVANT TO THIS CASE AND NONE OF THE PARTIES OR THE COURT WILL ASK ABOUT IT.
YOU CANNOT BE FIRED OR RETALIATED AGAINST IN ANY WAY, INCLUDING CALLING IMMIGRATION, FOR PARTICIPATING IN THIS LAWSUIT.
|HERE ARE THE CHOICES YOU CAN MAKE ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT. THESE OPTIONS AND DEADLINES ARE EXPLAINED IN THIS NOTICE.|
(Make a Claim to Recover from the Net Settlement Fund)
|To receive money from the Settlement Fund, you must complete the electronic opt-in/claims form on this website. If you fill out a electronic claim form, you will release claims under federal and state law related to the payment of overtime premiums and wages against Circle Group for work on the SkyHouse project. For instructions on filling out the electronic claim form, please contact Optime Administration.|
FROM THE LAWSUIT
|Complete the electronic Opt-Out form on this website on or before the 11/26/2017. If you complete and submit this form, you understand that you will not receive any payment from the Settlement Fund. If you fill out and submit a Opt-Out form, you will not release any claims against Circle Group under federal or state law. For instructions on filling out electronic Opt-Out form, please contact Optime Administration. Please Note: If you wish to opt-out but do not submit the
Opt-Out form by the applicable deadline, you will be bound by the terms of the settlement and are eligible to file a claim for the settlement money.
|OBJECT||If you wish to object to the terms of the settlement, you are required to send a letter stating your objections via email, or mail to Optime Administration (address below), to be received by the claims administrator on or before 11/06/2017. You may also submit your written objections directly to the Court, with a copy to Plaintiffs’ counsel. A Fairness Hearing will be held on November 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm at the Alfred A. Arraj United States Courthouse, 901 19th Street, Courtroom A902, Ninth Floor, Denver, CO 80294.|
|DO NOTHING||If you do nothing, you will get no money from this settlement. But, unless you exclude yourself by completing and submitting the Opt-Out form, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Circle Group about the issues and time period covered by this class action settlement ever again, but may still have claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, depending on the satisfaction of the legal requirements for same. There is no guarantee of recovery for any claims made.|
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE LAWSUIT AND THE SETTLEMENT
|1. What is this Notice about?|
This Notice is an official court notice to let you know about a proposed settlement in this “class action” lawsuit and how you may claim your share of the settlement. You are considered a class member in this case if you were employed or provided drywall or construction-related labor at the SkyHouse Denver project for Circle Group between September 2015 and July 2016. If you do not think the settlement is fair, you can object. This Notice will tell you how to make such an objection. This notice also informs you of your rights if you do not want to be a member of the class.
|2. What is the lawsuit about?|
A “class action” lawsuit is a lawsuit in which one person or a small group people, called the Class Representatives, sues on behalf of people who have similar claims. All of these people are a Class or Class Members. One Court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except those who exclude themselves from the Class.
In this lawsuit, your Class Representatives claimed that Circle Group violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Colorado Wage Claim Act when Circle Group failed to pay for all hours worked by its workers and failed to pay overtime premiums. Both Circle Group and your Class Representatives considers it desirable to resolve the lawsuit in order to avoid further expense and inconvenience and to provide the most money to the Class Members as possible.
A proposed settlement has been reached between Plaintiffs and Defendant Circle Group in the above-captioned case. In June 2016, Plaintiffs filed claims against several defendants alleging that they worked hanging and performing drywall labor and/or construction-related labor at the SkyHouse Denver construction site on 17th and Broadway in Denver, CO, between September 2015 and July 2016. They also allege that they were not paid their lawful wages and overtime premiums for this work and that they were employed by Circle Group.
Circle Group denies that these workers were employees entitled to overtime premiums, denies that they were not paid lawful wages, and denies that Circle Group employed them.
|3. What is the status of the lawsuit?|
After litigating the case for about a year, Plaintiffs and Circle Group entered into settlement negotiations to resolve claims on behalf of a class of workers who worked hanging and performing drywall and construction-related labor at the SkyHouse Denver construction site. The settlement agreement was preliminarily approved by the Court on Tuesday, September 12th, 2017. If the Court finally approves the settlement and you properly submit the forms detailed above, you may receive a distribution from the settlement payment based on the amount of time you worked at the SkyHouse Denver site hanging drywall or performing drywall or construction-related labor under Circle Group. The United States District Court for the District of Colorado will have a hearing to decide whether to grant final approval to the settlement so that payments can be made.
If the Court denies the parties’ request for final approval of the settlement agreement, no payments will be made under the settlement and this action will revert to its status immediately prior to the execution of the settlement agreement.
|4. What does the Settlement Agreement say?|
This is a summary of the settlement agreement. You can also review a complete copy of the settlement by contacting Optime Administration, whose contact information is below.
The settlement agreement states:
- That Circle Group will pay $700,000 to resolve the claims raised by Plaintiffs in this
- Of that amount, $50,400 will be paid to the specifically named Plaintiffs to resolve their individual discrimination claims against Circle
- An amount equal to $9,000 will be paid to the nine named plaintiffs in this lawsuit since they took significant effort to pursue this claim on your
- The remaining $640,600 will be a common fund for the benefit of the class. That amount shall be distributed approximately as follows:
- Plaintiffs’ counsel at Towards Justice and Lowrey Parady, LLC will make a request of not more than 30% of this amount as attorney’s fees in addition to litigation costs
- The Class Administrator shall be paid the costs of administering the
- Each member of the class shall have the opportunity to obtain distributions from the remaining amounts, which is estimated at approximately $400,000, based on the number of weeks he or she worked at the SkyHouse Denver site performing construction-related labor or providing drywall labor under Circle Group. All efforts will be made to ensure that all funds will be distributed to class members that submit the attached green
Even after subtraction of attorney’s fees and costs, service awards for Plaintiffs, and class administration costs, the proposed class settlement will provide class members like you with approximately all of your alleged unpaid wages and overtime premiums, without the payment of additional costs associated with trial and the risks inherent in trying a case before a jury. In addition, some of your recovery amounts may be subject to regular payroll taxes.
|5. What are my rights as a member of the “Class”?|
As a member of the Class, you have the right to receive money from the settlement. By completing and submitting the green form, you are filing a claim for money and are opting into the lawsuit. By opting into the lawsuit, you are giving up your rights to bring a separate claim against Circle Group for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Colorado Wage Claim Act. You must opt out of the lawsuit, by submitting the Opt-Out form by 11/26/2017 in order to bring a separate claim against Circle Group for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Colorado Wage Claim Act.
|6. How much money can I get?|
If the Court approves the settlement, each person like you who does not opt out of the settlement and files an opt-in/claim form with Optime Administration will receive a distribution from the settlement approximately equal to $200.00 for every week you worked at the SkyHouse site hanging drywall or performing drywall or construction-related labor under Circle Group, subtracting applicable taxes.
The amount of your distribution is based on the Optime Administration’s estimate of the number of weeks you worked at SkyHouse. If you disagree with this estimate of the number of weeks you worked, you can challenge the estimate by contacting Optime Administration and submitting clear documentary evidence that you worked a different number of weeks. The deadline for challenging the estimate of the number of weeks you worked is 11/26/2017. If you do not challenge the estimate within that period, then the Class Administrator will use that estimate to determine your distribution from the Settlement Fund. The Class Administrator shall have sole and binding discretion to resolve any dispute regarding the estimated number of weeks worked by any Class Member. It is important to understand tax withholding or other employment taxes might be taken out of any payment to you as required by the Internal Revenue Service.
|7. How do I opt-out of this “class action”?|
IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS SETTLEMENT, you have the right to be excluded from the Class and not receive any money from the settlement. To do so, you must complete and submit the Opt-Out form. If you choose to be excluded from the Class, you will NEVER be able to make any claim for this settlement money; however, you may have the right to bring your own lawsuit against Circle Group within the time period allowed under the law for the claims alleged in the lawsuit.
If you fail to opt-out by 11/26/2017, the deadline for opting out, you are giving up your right to be excluded from the Class, which means that you cannot bring a separate lawsuit against Circle Group for the same claims alleged in the current lawsuit, with the exception of FLSA claims, which you waive only by filing a green form. IT IS IMPORTANT TO SUBMIT THE OPT-OUT FORM BY THE DEADLINE IF YOU
WISH TO OPT-OUT OF THE LAWSUIT. If you do not opt-out, you will be bound by the terms of the settlement agreement and are eligible to file a claim for the settlement money. If you choose to “opt- out” of the class action, you should consult a lawyer as to your rights.
|8. What if I think this settlement is unfair?|
If you wish to make an objection to the proposed settlement, please send your written objections to the class administrator, Optime. All received objections will be provided to the Court. In addition, there will be an in-person hearing before federal judge R. Brooke Jackson at Alfred A. Arraj United States Courthouse, 901 19th Street, Courtroom A902, Ninth Floor, Denver, CO 80294 on November, 29th at s:00 pm, to decide whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. You may also submit your objections to the settlement to the Clerk of the Court before 11/02/2017. You may submit your objections directly to the court in writing by sending your objections to the Clerk of Court at the Byron Rogers United States Courthouse, 1929 Stout Street, Suite C-120, Denver, CO 80294. You should include in your letter the name of the case (Solis, et al v. The Circle Group, et a., Case No. 1:16-cv-01329-RBJ).
You do not have to be present at the hearing to receive your share of the settlement money. If you submit the green form to get your share of the settlement, you will receive your class share, provided the settlement is approved by the judge.
|9. What if I don’t have immigration papers?|
You can be part of this lawsuit even if you don’t have immigration papers. Your immigration status does not matter to this case.
|10. Can Circle Group do anything to me for being part of this?|
No. It is illegal for anyone to punish you in any way for being part of this.
|11. What if I have questions?|
All forms in response to this notice (opt-in/claims forms and opt-out forms) should be digitally submitted via an electronic signature or by telephone, fax, or email. If you have problems with digital submission or any other questions about this case, please contact Optime using the contact information below. All objections should be mailed or emailed to Optime Administration at its address below.
Circle Group Settlement Administrator c/o Optime Administration, LLC
P.O. Box 3206
Brockton, MA 02304
PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE COURT OR THE CLERK OF THE COURT.