WHAT IS THE NOTICE ABOUT?

The Notice is to tell you about the Settlement of a “class action” lawsuit that was filed against Total Staffing Solutions, Inc. and to tell you about a “Fairness Hearing” to be held before the Honorable Judge Caroline Kate Moreland on December 14, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. via ZOOM ID 952 6244 1199; Zoom Password: 541722; Zoom Dial In (312) 626-6799, to determine whether the proposed settlement (“the Settlement”) described in the Stipulation of Settlement fairly resolves the claims against Defendant Total Staffing Solutions, Inc. as explained below.

 

WHAT IS THE LAWSUIT ABOUT?

On February 6. 2017, a putative class action lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County and a First Amended Complaint was filed on October 25, 2017. This matter is currently entitled Maldonado, et al. v. Total Staffing Solutions, Inc., Case No. 2017 CH 01786 (“the Lawsuit.”)

In the Lawsuit, the Plaintiff brought a claim alleging that Total Staffing violated the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (“IWPCA”) by failing to pay its employees all earned vacation pay. Total Staffing denies all of the allegations in the Lawsuit, no class has been certified by the Court, nor has it made a determination as to the merits of Plaintiff’s claim. However, the parties engaged in a settlement conference with Judge Moreland. The parties reached a tentative agreement on settlement of the claim raised in the Lawsuit with the assistance of Judge Moreland, which resulted in this proposed class-wide Settlement Agreement. 

 

WHY DID I GET A NOTICE?

You received the Notice because the lawyers for the Plaintiff and Defendant identified you as a person in the Settlement Class, defined as:

Plaintiff and all other current and former laborers employed by Total Staffing Solutions, Inc. in Illinois who performed more than 200 hours of compensated work and less than 1,800 hours of compensated work in any calendar year during the period of January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017 and who did not receive a pro rata share of Total Staffing Solutions, Inc.’s vacation pay plan for the period of January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017.

If you received a Notice, you are eligible to participate in the Settlement and my be eligible for compensation as described below.

 

WHAT IS THE SETTLEMENT AND HOW WAS IT AGREED UPON?

The Settlement is a compromise of Plaintiff’s claims in the Lawsuit and is not to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of Defendant. The Court has granted preliminary approval of the Settlement, and the Named Plaintiff and Defendant (collectively, “the Parties”) are now seeking final Court approval, which is required for the Settlement to become effective. The Settlement includes a procedure for eligible persons to receive their share of the Settlement Amount. Plaintiff believes that the claims asserted in the Lawsuit have merit. Defendant does not believe that the claims asserted in the Lawsuit have merit. There has been no determination by any court, administrative agency, or other tribunal as to the truth or validity of the factual allegations made against Defendant in this Lawsuit.

Substantial amounts of time, energy, and other resources have been devoted by the Parties in prosecuting and in defending the Lawsuit. Unless there is a Settlement, the Lawsuit will continue. In settlement negotiations, the Parties have taken into account the uncertainty of the outcome and the risk of litigation. In light of these factors, the Parties believe that the Settlement is the best way to resolve the Litigation while minimizing further expenditures.

The Parties and their attorneys believe that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and in the best interests of all Parties, including the Settlement Class.

 

WHAT ARE THE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENT AND WHAT AM I ENTILTED TO RECOVER?

Defendants have agreed to pay a Settlement Amount of up to $250,000.00 as described in the Stipulation of Settlement to resolve all claims in this Lawsuit. Each settlement class member shall be allocated a proportionate share of the Settlement Amount after the Settlement Fund has been reduced by: (1) the costs of administering the settlement up through final approval of the Settlement (2) the $2,000.00 court-approved payment to each of the Named Plaintiff for his service to the Class and $5,000.00 payment to the Named Plaintiff as consideration for executing a full release of all claims as to Defendant; and (3) attorneys’ reasonable fees and costs as awarded by the Court. The Settlement Amount as reduced by the foregoing amounts is referred to in this Notice as the “Settlement Fund.”

As part of the Settlement, each settlement class member who submits a timely and complete Claim and Release Form shall receive an estimated payment of approximately $0.04 (four cents)[1] per hour worked for Total Staffing from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. As an example, if a Total Staffing laborer has worked 1,500 hours during that period, s/he would recover approximately $60.00. The actual amount of recovery may be less or may be as high as approximately $0.19 (nineteen cents) per hour, depending on how many claims are filed. In that case, the Total Staffing laborer who worked 1,500 hours would recover approximately $285.00.

The Claims Administrator will pay settlement distributions directly to eligible claimants. The payment made to each settlement class member shall be treated statutory damages for which the Claims Administrator shall issue an IRS Form 1099.

[1] The exact multiplier is $.0395 per hour worked.

 

HOW DO I RECEIVE A SETTLEMENT AWARD?

To receive a part of the Settlement Fund, you must complete and sign the Claim and Release Form without altering or changing it, and return it to the Claims Administrator by October 31, 2022, postmarked no later than 60 days from the date the Claim and Release Form was mailed to you – the date indicated on the Claim and Release Form.  If you do not timely complete and return a signed and completed Claim and Release Form, you will not receive a monetary settlement payment.

 

AM I REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SETTLEMENT?

No. You may do nothing, and you will remain a member of the Settlement Class and bound by the Settlement, but you will not receive a check. You may “opt-out” of the Settlement if you comply with the opt-out procedure. To opt-out, you must send to the Claims Administrator at Maldonado v Total Staffing Solutions, Inc. c/o Atticus Administration, PO Box 64053, St. Paul, MN 55164, a written statement expressing your desire to be excluded from the Settlement in Maldonado, et al. v. Total Staffing Solutions, Inc., Case No. 2017 CH 01786, no later than sixty (60) days from the date the Claim and Release Form was mailed to you, which shall be the deadline indicated on the Claim and Release Form. The statement must include (1) your name, (2) current address and current telephone number, (3) specifically state your desire to be excluded from the settlement and (4) must be signed personally by you.

You must also mail copies of the “opt-out” statement to Settlement Class Counsel and to Defendant’s Counsel at the addresses listed below.

Counsel for Plaintiff and the Class
Christopher J. Williams
Workers Law Office, P.C.
1 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 1275
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Counsel for Total Staffing Solutions, Inc.
Danielle Gould
Christopher E. Kentra
Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C.
300 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 2100
Chicago, Illinois 60611

If you opt-out of the Settlement you will not recover any money as part of this Settlement. You may, however, pursue other legal remedies apart from the Settlement that may be available to you. Neither the Parties nor their attorneys make any representations to you regarding what, if any, legal remedies are available to you should you choose to opt-out. YOU SHOULD NOT OPT-OUT IF YOU WISH TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SETTLEMENT.

 

WHEN IS THE COURT HEARING TO DETERMINE IF THE SETTLEMENT IS FAIR?

The Fairness Hearing will be held before the Honorable Judge Caroline Kate Moreland on December 14, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. via ZOOM ID 952 6244 1199; Zoom Password: 541722; Zoom Dial In (312) 626-6799. The Fairness Hearing may be continued from time to time as the Court may direct, without further notification.

If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you will be bound by the proposed Settlement if it is approved, unless you opt-out by making a timely opt-out request as described above.

 

WHAT IS THE FAIRNESS HEARING AND DO I NEED TO ATTEND?

The purpose of the Fairness Hearing in this case is to determine whether the proposed Settlement of the Lawsuit is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and whether the proposed Settlement should be finally approved by the Court and the Lawsuit dismissed. Any member of the Settlement Class who is satisfied with the proposed Settlement does not have to appear at the Fairness Hearing.

Any member of the Settlement Class who has not validly and timely opted-out of the Settlement but who objects to the proposed Settlement may appear in person or through counsel at the Fairness Hearing and be heard as to why the Settlement should not be approved as fair, reasonable, and adequate, or why a final judgment should or should not be entered dismissing the Lawsuit with prejudice. No attorneys’ fees will be paid by Defendants to an objector’s counsel for any work related to an objection to this Settlement.

No member of the Settlement Class will be heard or entitled to object to the Settlement and no papers or briefs submitted by any such Settlement Class Member will be received or considered by the Court, unless no later than October 31, 2022, the member of the Settlement Class sends to the Claims Administrator, at Maldonado v Total Staffing Solutions, Inc. c/o Atticus Administration, PO Box 64053, St. Paul, MN 55164, a written statement expressing the basis of the objection to the Settlement in Maldonado, et al. v. Total Staffing Solutions, Inc., Case No. 2017 CH 01786, no later than sixty (60) days from the date the Claim and Release Form was mailed, which shall be the deadline indicated on the Claim and Release Form. The statement must include (1) the Settlement Class Member’s name, (2) current address and current telephone number, (3) specifically state the basis of the objection to the settlement and (4) be signed personally by the Settlement Class Member.

Members of the Settlement Class who do not timely make their objections in this manner will be deemed to have waived all objections and shall not be heard or have the right to appeal approval of the settlement.

YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO ATTEND THIS HEARING UNLESS YOU PLAN TO OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT.

 

WHAT RIGHTS AM I GIVING UP IF I PARTICIPATE IN THE SETTLEMENT?

Members of the Settlement Class who do not opt-out of the Settlement (whether or not such members submit claims) will release and discharge, on behalf of themselves and their heirs, legatees, personal representatives and assigns Total Staffing Solutions, Inc. and its parents, divisions, subsidiaries, partnerships, affiliates, predecessors, past, present, and future trustees, fiduciaries, shareholders, administrators, directors, officers, agents, partners, members, principals, owners, employees, insurers and attorneys, from all claims alleged in the First Amended Complaint, described above.

 

HOW ARE THE LAWYERS FOR THE SETTLEMENT CLASS PAID?

Settlement Class Counsel will make a request of the Court to award an amount of the Total Settlement Amount, not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00), for reimbursement of reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, for all past and future legal work and costs incurred in this Litigation through final approval of the Settlement as set forth in the Stipulation of Settlement.

 

CAN I REVIEW A COPY OF THE SETTLEMENT OR OTHER PAPERS THAT WERE FILED WITH THE COURT?

Yes, for a detailed statement of the matters involved in the Lawsuit and the proposed Settlement, you may review the pleadings and other papers filed in the Lawsuit, which may be inspected at the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County located at 50 W. Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois 60602, during regular business hours of each court day. In addition, you may also contact Settlement Class Counsel to review copies of the settlement papers filed with the Court. All inquiries by Settlement Class Members about the Settlement should be directed to Settlement Class Counsel.  Settlement Documents are also available online HERE.

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE CLERK OF THE COURT OR THE JUDGE WITH INQUIRIES ABOUT THIS SETTLEMENT.