Jason Craig and Michael Ross v. Corteva, Inc. et al. - Frequently Asked Questions
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  1. Why should I read the Notice?
  2. Who is affected by this proposed settlement?
  3. What is this case about?
  4. Who are the attorneys representing the parties?
  5. What are the settlement terms?
  6. What claims are being released by the proposed settlement?
  7. What are my options in this matter?
  8. What is the next step in the approval of the settlement?
  9. How can I get additional information?
  10. What happens if my address has changed or changes?

A proposed settlement (the “Settlement”) has been reached in the class action lawsuit currently pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, entitled Jason Craig et al., v. Corteva, Inc., E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Company, Dow Agrosciences LLC, The Dow Chemical Co., Dowdupont, Inc. n/k/a Dupont De Nemours, Inc., Dow Inc., Case No. 3:19-cv-07923-JCS (the “Class Action”). If the court approves the Settlement, the Settlement will resolve all claims in the Class Action.

The purpose of the Notice is to inform you about the proposed Settlement and to explain your rights and options with respect to the Class Action and the Settlement.

 


The Court has certified, for settlement purposes, the following class (the “Class”):

All current and former hourly employees of Defendants who worked a 12-hour rotating shift at the chemical manufacturing plant in Pittsburg, California, for the period December 3, 2015 through preliminary approval of the Settlement.

 


Plaintiffs allege that Defendants violated California’s wage and hour laws by failing to provide the employees at their chemical manufacturing plant located in Pittsburg, California, (the “Pittsburg Plant”) with duty-free meal periods and not authorizing and permitting rest periods, as required by California Labor Code section 226.7 and Industrial Wage Commission (“IWC”) Wage Order 1-2001. Plaintiffs contend that the Pittsburg Plant operates continuously, 365 days a year and 24 hours per day.

Plaintiffs contend certain employees, principally Operators, who are scheduled to work 12-hour shifts (“12-hour shift employees”), are required to monitor their units, are on-duty throughout their entire shifts, and as a matter of policy are not allowed to take duty-free meal or rest periods. Plaintiffs allege that during the shift, the workers are required to carry a radio, monitor equipment, respond to calls, and are accountable for monitoring and operation of the production process throughout the shift without a designated or uninterrupted meal or rest period.

Plaintiffs allege that by failing to permit and allow their 12-hour shift workers to take duty free meal and rest periods, Defendants have also violated the Private Attorneys General Act, Labor Code 2698 et seq., and engaged in unfair business practices pursuant to Business & Professions Code §17200 et seq. Plaintiffs have not filed a motion for class certification in this action.

Defendants expressly deny any liability or wrongdoing of any kind whatsoever associated with the case and Defendants contend that they have complied with all applicable state, federal and local laws affecting Plaintiff and the Class. Defendants are confident they have strong legal and factual defenses to these claims, but all Parties recognize the risks and expenses associated with continued litigation.

This Settlement is the result of good faith, arm’s length negotiations between Plaintiffs, who are the Class Representatives, and Defendants, through their respective attorneys. All Parties agree that in light of the risks and expenses associated with continued litigation, the Settlement is fair and appropriate under the circumstances, and in the best interests of the Class Members.

The Court has not yet ruled on the merits of the Class Representatives’ claims or Defendants’ defenses. The Settlement is a compromise and is not an admission of liability on the part of Defendants.

 


The lead attorneys for the Class Representatives in the Class Action (“Class Counsel”) are:

Jay Smith
Joshua F. Young
GILBERT & SACKMAN
A Law Corporation
3699 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1200
Los Angeles, California 90010
Telephone: (323) 938-3000
Fax: (323) 937-9139

Randy Renick
Cornelia Dai
HADSELL STORMER RENICK & DAI, LLP
128 N. Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, California 91103
Tel: (626) 585-9600
Fax: (626) 577-7079

The attorneys for Defendants are:

Carolyn G. Burnette
Nathan W. Austin
Sander van der Heide
JACKSON LEWIS
400 Capitol Mall, Suite 1600
Sacramento, California 95814
Telephone: (916) 341-0404
Fax: (916) 341-0141

 


Subject to final Court approval, Defendants will pay a total of $3,800,000 (the “Settlement Amount”) for: (a) Class Members’ claims, to be allocated based on the number of Workweeks worked as 12-hour shift employees during the Class Period; (b) PAGA penalties of $40,000, seventy-five percent (75%) of which ($30,000) will be paid to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”), and the remaining twenty-five percent (25%) of which ($10,000) will be distributed among Class Members who do not opt out of the Class in proportion to their share of the settlement; (c) Court-approved Service Awards to the Class Representatives; (d) Court-approved Class Counsel’s fees and costs; and (e) Court-approved costs of administering the Settlement.

 


Upon Final Approval of the Settlement by the Court, the Class and each Class Member, including each Plaintiff jointly, severally, shall fully release and discharge Defendants and Released Parties from the Released Claims.

“Released Parties” shall collectively mean: (i) Dow Agrosciences, LLC and The Dow Chemical Company (“Defendants”); (ii) each of Defendants’ past, present, and future direct and indirect parents, including, but not limited to, Dow, Inc., DowDuPont, Inc. n/k/a/ DuPont De Nemours, Inc., E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Company, and Corteva, Inc.; (iii) the respective past, present, and future direct and indirect subsidiaries and affiliates of any of the foregoing; (iv) the past, present, and future shareholders, directors, officers, agents, employees, attorneys, insurers, members, partners, managers, contractors, agents, consultants, representatives, administrators, fiduciaries, benefit plans, transferees, predecessors, successors and assigns of any of the foregoing; and (v) any individual or entity which could be jointly liable with any of the foregoing.

“Released Claims” shall include all claims under state, federal and local law that were or could have been asserted based on the facts and allegations made in the Action, and any amendments thereto, as to the Class Members, including without limitation, California Labor Code sections 218.5, 226.7, 512, and 558, California Industrial Commission Wage Orders, and Business and Professions Code sections 17200, et seq., and including all claims for or related to meal periods and meal period premiums, rest periods and rest period premiums, on duty meal period agreements, failure to pay additional 401(k) benefits and/or deferred compensation benefits and/or matching benefits for payments received under the Settlement, unfair competition, unfair business practices, unlawful business practices, fraudulent business practices, conversion, class actions, representative actions, injunctive relief, declaratory relief, accounting, punitive damages, liquidated damages, penalties of any nature (including but not limited to civil penalties, and statutory penalties), interest, fees, costs, as well as all other claims and allegations alleged in the Action, during the Class Period.

“Released PAGA Claims” shall include all claims under PAGA, California Labor Code sections 2698, et seq., that were or could have been asserted based on the facts and allegations made in the Action, and any amendments thereto, as to the Class Members, including without limitation, California Labor Code sections 218.5, 226.7, 512, 558, and 2698, et seq., California Industrial Commission Wage Orders, and Business and Professions Code sections 17200, et seq., and including all claims for or related to meal periods and meal period premiums, rest periods and rest period premiums, on duty meal period agreements, failure to pay additional 401(k) benefits and/or deferred compensation benefits and/or matching benefits for payments received under the Settlement, unfair competition, unfair business practices, unlawful business practices, fraudulent business practices, conversion, class actions, representative actions, aggrieved party claims, injunctive relief, declaratory relief, accounting, punitive damages, liquidated damages, penalties of any nature (including but not limited to civil penalties, statutory penalties, and PAGA penalties), interest, fees, costs, as well as all other claims and allegations alleged in the Action, from December 3, 2018 through preliminary approval.

 


You have three options under this Settlement, each of which is discussed below. You may: (A) do nothing, remain in the Class, and receive your share of the Settlement; (B) challenge the number of Workweeks indicated on the first page of this Notice while remaining in the Class so that you can receive your share of the Settlement; or (C) exclude yourself from the Class and from the Settlement. If you choose option (A) or (B), you may also object to the Settlement as explained below.

If you remain in the Class, you will be represented at no cost by Class Counsel. Class Counsel, however, will not represent you for purposes of making objections to the Settlement. If you do not timely exclude yourself from the Settlement (Option C), you will be subject to any Judgment that will be entered in the Class Action, including the release of the Released Claims as described above—whether or not you cash your share of the Settlement.

OPTION A

If you agree with the number of Workweeks indicated at the top of this Notice, and you wish to participate in the Settlement, you need not take any further action. If you wish to remain in the Class and be eligible to receive a payment under the Settlement, you do not need to take any action. If this settlement receives the Court’s final approval, a check will be sent to you at the address on this Notice.

OPTION B

If you DO NOT agree with the number of Workweeks indicated at the top of this Notice, but you DO wish to participate in the Settlement, you must take the following action: Complete and send a letter entitled “Notice of Dispute” to the Settlement Administrator at the address listed below explaining that you dispute the total, together with any supporting written documentation. Such documentation may consist of official records, pay stubs, weekly schedules, or personal logs. To be considered, the Notice of Dispute and supporting written documentation must be received by the Settlement Administrator no later than November 19, 2021. The Settlement Administrator will make a final and binding determination regarding any disputes by December 14, 2021. The Settlement Administrator will inform you of the final determination in writing. If the Settlement receives the Court’s final approval, your Settlement payment check will be sent to you at the address on this Notice.

OPTION C

If You Do Not Want to Be Bound by The Settlement. If you do not want to be part of the Settlement, you must submit a signed written request to be excluded from the Settlement entitled (“Opt Out Request”) to the Settlement Administrator, at the address listed below. If the Opt Out Request is sent from within the United States, it must be sent through the United States Postal Service by First-Class U.S. Mail, or the equivalent. In order to be valid, your Opt Out Request must be postmarked on or before December 20, 2021.

If you do not timely submit an executed Opt Out Request (as evidenced by the postmark), your Opt Out Request will be rejected, you will be deemed a Class Member, and you will be bound by all Settlement terms, including but not limited to the release of Released Class Claims as described in the “What Claims are Being Released by the Proposed Settlement?” section above.

If you timely submit an executed Opt Out Request, you will have no further role in the Class Action, and for all purposes, you will be regarded as if you never were either a party to the Action or a Class Member, and thus you will not be entitled to any benefit as a result of the Class Action and will not be entitled to or permitted to assert an objection to the Settlement.

By law, you are not permitted to opt out of the Released PAGA Claims and you will be paid your pro rata share of the amount of the settlement allocated to PAGA.

Who is the Claims Administrator?
The Settlement Administrator is:

CAC Services Group, LLC
6420 Flying Cloud Dr Ste 101
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Telephone: (866) 602-2260
Fax: (888) 495-9746

Objecting to the Settlement: If you believe the Settlement is unfair or inadequate in any respect, you can ask the Court to deny approval by filing a timely objection. You cannot ask the Court to order a larger or different settlement; the Court can only approve or disapprove the Settlement. If the Court denies approval, no settlement payments will be made, and the Class Action will continue. You cannot object to the Settlement if you request exclusion from the Settlement as provided under Option C, above.

All written objections and supporting papers must:

(a) Identify the case name and number (Craig et al., v. Corteva, Inc. et al. Case No. 3:19-cv-07923-JCS) and your name

(b) Be submitted to the Court by mailing them to the Clerk, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Courthouse, Courtroom F – 15th Floor 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102; and

(c) Be filed or postmarked on or before December 20, 2021.

Any objection to the proposed settlement should be in writing. You may also object by appearing by ZOOM at the Final Approval Hearing, either in person or through your own attorney, whether or not you have filed a written objection. If you appear through your own attorney, you are responsible for hiring and paying that attorney.

Your objection must clearly state: 1) a statement of reasons why you believe the Court should find that the Settlement is not in the best interest of the Class; and 2) the reasons why the Court should not approve the Settlement.

Any Class Member who does not object to the Settlement in the manner described above shall be deemed to have waived any objections and shall be foreclosed from objecting to the fairness or adequacy of the Settlement, the payment of attorneys’ fees and costs, the Service Awards to the Class Representatives, the claims process, and any and all other aspects of the Settlement.

Likewise, even if you file an objection, you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement, including applicable releases as set forth above, unless the Court does not finally approve the Settlement.

 


The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on the fairness and adequacy of the Settlement, the plan of distribution, Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and costs, the settlement administration costs, and the Service Awards to the Class Representatives on January 28, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. Class Members may attend the hearing via Zoom. Instructions are provided by the Court at: https://www.cand.uscourts.gov/judges/spero-joseph-c-jcs/.

The Final Approval Hearing may be continued without further notice to Class Members. You are advised to check this Settlement website or the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) website at https://www.cand.uscourts.gov/cm-ecf to confirm that the Final Approval Hearing date and/or time has not been changed. You are not required to attend the Final Approval Hearing to receive your share of the Settlement.

 


This Notice only summarizes the Class Action, the basic terms of the Settlement, and other related matters. For the precise terms and conditions of the Settlement, please see the Joint Stipulation of Class Action Settlement and Release on the Case Document section of this website, by contacting class counsel at the address and telephone number listed above, or by accessing the Court docket in this case through PACER at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov.

The Joint Stipulation of Class Action Settlement and Plaintiffs’ Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Reimbursement of Costs will be available for review after November 15, 2021.

Any questions regarding this Notice should be directed to the Settlement Administrator or to Class Counsel at the above addresses and telephone numbers.

 


Your payment will be sent to the address on your Notice. Therefore, if your address changes or is different from the one the Notice was sent to, you must correct it by notifying the Claims Administrator in writing, by First-Class U.S. Mail.