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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 Central District of California, entitled Michelle Kendig et al., v. ExxonMobil Oil Corp.; ExxonMobil Pipeline Company; PBF Energy Limited; Torrance Refining Company, LLC, Case No. 2:18-cv-9224 MWF (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 non-exempt hourly employees holding an Operator position while employed by ExxonMobil Oil Corporation, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, PBF Energy Limited, and/or Torrance Refining Company LLC, or any of their affiliates, working at the Torrance refinery, distribution and pipeline facilities in the state of California, County of Los Angeles, at any time during the time period beginning September 18, 2014 and ending on the date of Preliminary Approval.

 


Plaintiffs’ lawsuit is based on the California Supreme Court’s December 22, 2016 interpretation of Wage Order No. 4-2001 in Augustus v. ABM Securities Services, Inc., 2 Cal. 5th 257, 260 (2016), that rest periods under that wage order cannot be “on call.” Plaintiffs contend that Defendants require or required refinery, distribution, and/or pipeline facilities operators to maintain radios during rest breaks in violation of the California Supreme Court’s rest break interpretation.

Plaintiffs allege that Defendants violated California’s wage and hour laws by not providing them with rest breaks, by failing to pay them premium wages for missed rest breaks, and by failing to provide accurate wage statements. In addition to alleging violations of the California Labor Code, Plaintiffs also have asserted claims under California Business & Professions Code section 17200 and the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”), California Labor Code sections 2698 et seq., based on the same alleged Labor Code violations.

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 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:

Gary T. Lafayette
Barbara L. Lyons
LAFAYETTE & KUMAGAI LLP
1300 Clay Street, Ste. 810
Oakland, California 94612
Telephone: (415) 357-4600
Fax: (415) 357-4605
Attorneys for Defendants PBF ENERGY LIMITED and TORRANCE REFINING COMPANY LLC

Jeffrey A. Dinkin
STRADLING YOCCA CARLSON & RAUTH, P.C.
800 Anacapa Street, Suite A
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Telephone: (805) 730-6800
Facsimile: (805) 730-6801
Attorneys for Defendants EXXONMOBIL OIL CORPORATION and EXXONMOBIL PIPELINE COMPANY

 


Subject to final Court approval, Defendants will pay a total of $4,391,585 (the “Settlement Amount”) for: (a) Class Members’ claims, to be allocated based on the number of shifts worked during the Class Period; (b) PAGA penalties of $50,000, seventy-five percent (75%) of which ($37,500) will be paid to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”), and the remaining twenty-five percent (25%) of which ($12,500) 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) costs of administering the Settlement.

 


Upon Final Approval, Plaintiffs and each Settling Plaintiff shall be deemed to have fully, finally, and forever released and discharged the “Released Parties” (described below) from all Released Claims through the Date of Preliminary Approval.

“Released Parties” shall mean Defendants PBF Energy Limited and Torrance Refining Company LLC, ExxonMobil Oil Corp., and ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, and each of them, including each of their past and present successors, subsidiaries, parents, holding companies, sister and affiliated companies, divisions and other related entities, as well as the successors, predecessors, shareholders, subsidiaries, investors, parent, sister and affiliated companies, officers, directors, partners, assigns, agents, employees, principals, heirs, administrators, attorneys, vendors, accountants, auditors, consultants, fiduciaries, insurers, reinsurers, employee benefit plans, and representatives of each of them, both individually and in their official capacities, past or present, as well as all persons acting by, through, under or in concert with any of these persons or entities.

“Released Claims” shall mean those claims contained in the Complaint, including the original complaint filed in the Class Action (and claims derivative thereof) and Complaint filed on September 18, 2018 including, but not limited to, the failure to provide an off-duty rest period, failure to furnish timely and accurate wage statements arising from the failure to provide rest periods, all claims in connection with rest periods arising under the California Labor Code, California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order No. 1-2001, and California’s Unfair Competition Law, all claims for civil penalties in connection with rest periods and inaccurate wage statements arising under the Private Attorney’s General Act of 2004, all claims for attorneys’ fees and costs arising from the prosecution of rest period claims, all claims for restitution, disgorgement, and injunctive relief, and in addition, for the Named Plaintiffs, a further general release of all claims, as described in greater detail in Paragraphs 60 through 69 of the Settlement Agreement.

 


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 Qualifying Shifts 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 Qualifying Shifts 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 Qualifying Shifts 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 Claims Administrator at the address listed below explaining that you dispute the totals, 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 Claims Administrator no later than July 9, 2020. Class Counsel and Defense Counsel will make a final and binding determination regarding any disputes. The Claims Administrator will inform you of the final determination by a telephone call, followed by an e-mail or regular U.S. Mail if your email address is not available. 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 Claims 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 July 24, 2020.

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 Participating Class Member, and you will be bound by all Settlement terms, including but not limited to the release of Released 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.

Who is the Claims Administrator?
The Claims Administrator is:

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

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 an objection. You cannot ask the Court to order a larger 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.

You may object to the proposed settlement in writing. You may also appear at the Final Approval Hearing, either in person or through your own attorney. If you appear through your own attorney, you are responsible for paying that attorney.

All written objections and supporting papers must:

(a) Clearly identify the case name and number Michelle Kendig et al., v. ExxonMobil Oil Corp.; ExxonMobil Pipeline Company; PBF Energy Limited; Torrance Refining Company, LLC, Case No. 2:18-cv-9224 MWF;

(b) Be submitted to the Court either by mailing them to the Clerk, United States District Court for the Central District of California, First Street Courthouse, 350 W 1st Street, Suite 4311 Los Angeles, CA 90012-4565, or by filing them in person at any location of the United States District Court for the Central District of California; and

(c) Be filed or postmarked on or before July 24, 2020.

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 August 17, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 5A of the United States District Court, Central District of California, First Street Courthouse, located at 350 West First Street, Los Angeles, California 90012. The Final Approval Hearing may be continued without further notice to Class Members. You are advised to check this website or the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) website at https://www.cand.uscourts.gov/cm-ecf site 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.

 


The 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 in the Case Documents section of this website, by contacting class counsel at the address and telephone number listed above, by accessing the Court docket in this case through PACER at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov, or by visiting the Clerk, United States District Court for the Central District of California, First Street Courthouse, 350 W 1st Street, Suite 4311 Los Angeles, CA 90012-4565, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding court holidays. /p>

The Joint Stipulation of Class Action Settlement and Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees and Reimbursement of Costs will be available for review after June 25, 2020

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

 


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