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NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT
AND HEARING DATE FOR COURT APPROVAL

Christopher J. Rodriguez v. RSI Home Products, Inc., et al.
San Bernardino Superior Court Case No. CIVDS 2023354

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS MAY BE AFFECTED WHETHER YOU ACT OR DO NOT ACT. PLEASE READ THIS CLASS NOTICE CAREFULLY. 

SUMMARY OF YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT:

Do Nothing and Receive a Payment

If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you will automatically receive a payment if you do not exclude yourself.

 

Your estimated Individual Settlement Share is: $<<Est.Settlement>>.

 Your estimated share of the PAGA Amount is: $<<Est.PAGA>>.

After final approval by the Court, the payment will be mailed to you at the same address as this Class Notice. If your address has changed, please notify the Settlement Administrator as explained below.

Exclude Yourself

To exclude yourself, you must send a letter to the Settlement Administrator as provided below on or before June 17, 2021. If you request exclusion, you will receive no money from the Settlement, but you will still receive your pro-rata share of the PAGA Amount. Instructions are set forth below.

Object

Write to the Court about why you do not like the settlement. Directions are provided below. Written objections must be submitted by June 17, 2021.

1. Why did I get this Class Notice? 

A proposed class action settlement (the “Settlement”) of the above-captioned lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, in and for the County of San Bernardino (the “Court”), has been reached by the parties and has been granted preliminary approval by the Court supervising the Action.
 

You have received this Class Notice because you have been identified as a member of the Settlement Class and/or Aggrieved Employee which are defined as:

Settlement ClassAll non-exempt hourly-paid employees working in the State of California for RSI Home Products, Inc. and/or RSI Professional Cabinet Solutions (also known as “Professional Cabinet Solutions”) who performed any work for Defendants as an hourly-paid employee from December 5, 2015 through the date of preliminary approval of the settlement (the “Settlement Class Period”), and expressly excluding therefrom any such individual who, as of the date the Court grants preliminary approval of this Settlement Agreement, has filed a pending, separate lawsuit as a named plaintiff, individually and/or as a putative class or representative action, asserting the same or similar claims to those alleged in the Litigation. The Settlement Class shall also exclude any putative class member who is a former employee who has previously released such claims after his or her employment ended and, with respect to any current employees who have signed a release of claims with the Defendants, or any individuals rehired after having signed a release of claims, any time
period encompassed by each such employee’s release agreement shall be excluded from the calculation of any settlement sum due to that putative class member (hereafter, the “Released Period”).

Aggrieved Employees. All non-exempt hourly-paid employees working in the State of California for RSI Home Products, Inc. and/or RSI Professional Cabinet Solutions from November 19, 2018 through the date of preliminary approval (“PAGA Period”) of the settlement, who performed any work for RSI Home Products, Inc. (“RSIHPI”) and/or RSI Professional Cabinet Solutions (“RSIPCS”)as an hourly-paid employee during the PAGA Period. You are an aggrieved employee if you worked during this PAGA period, even if you signed a release of claims with the Defendants that fully or partially released your claims.

This Class Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights. It is important that you read this Class Notice carefully as your rights may be affected by the Settlement.

2. What is this class action lawsuit about?

On December 5, 2019, plaintiff Christopher Rodriguez (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against defendants, RSI Home Products, Inc. (“RSIHPI”), RSI Professional Cabinet Solutions (“RSIPCS”), Professional Cabinet Solutions (“PCS”), and American Woodmark Corporation (“AWC”) (hereinafter collectively “Defendants”) in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Bernardino, Case No. CIVDS1936827 (the “State Court Class Action”). The State Court Class Action alleges the following claims and violations against Defendants: (1) Unfair Competition in Violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200; (2) Failure to Pay Overtime Wages in Violation of Cal. Labor Code §§ 510 et seq.; (3) Failure to Pay Minimum Wages in Violation of Cal. Lab. Code §§ 1194, 1197 and 1197.1; (4) Failure to Provide Required Meal Periods in Violation of Cal. Lab. Code §§ 226.7 and 512; (5) Failure to Provide Required Rest Periods in Violation of Cal. Lab. Code §§ 226.7 and 512; (6) Failure to Provide Accurate Itemized Wage Statements in Violation of Cal. Lab. Code § 226; (7) Failure to Provide Wages When Due in Violation of Cal. Lab. Code 201, 202 and 203. Defendants removed the State Court Class Action to the United States District Court, for the Central District of California, Case No. 5:20-cv- 00138-JAK-SP.

Plaintiff subsequently filed a second complaint against Defendants in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Bernardino, Case No. CIVDS2023354 (“PAGA Action”) alleging a single cause of action for Violations of the California Labor Code Private Attorney General Act at Labor Code Section 2698 et seq (“PAGA”).

Generally, in both the State Court Class Action and the PAGA Action (collectively, the “Actions”), Plaintiff seeks to represent the Settlement Class and Aggrieved Employees for claims that Defendants failed to pay the Class Members and Aggrieved Employees for all wages due, including, overtime wages, minimum wages, failed to provide compliant meal and rest periods or premium wages in lieu thereof, failed to provide complete and accurate wage statements, failed to timely pay wages owed at the time of separation of employment, inaccurately paid sick time, failed to reimburse necessary business expenses and violations of the PAGA.

Defendants deny all liability and further deny that the Actions are appropriate for class or representative treatment for any purpose other than this settlement. Nothing in this Class Notice, or the Settlement itself, or any actions to carry out the terms of the Settlement mean that the Defendants admit any fault, guilt, negligence, wrongdoing or liability whatsoever. The Court has made no findings regarding the above claims in the Actions.

The Court granted preliminary approval of the Settlement on March 24, 2021. At that time, the Court also preliminarily approved Plaintiff to serve as the Class Representative and the JCL Law Firm, APC and to serve as Class Counsel.

3. What are the terms of the Settlement?

Settlement Payment. Defendants have agreed to pay One Million Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($1,450,000.00) (“Gross Settlement Fund”) to fully resolve the Actions. The Gross Settlement Fund includes all payments to Settlement Class Members and government taxing authorities, plus (a) the costs of administration of the settlement, (b) all claimed and/or awarded attorneys’ fees and costs, (c) all claimed and/or awarded enhancement awards to the Class Representative, and (d) the payment to the LWDA pursuant to the PAGA. No amount of the Total Settlement Amount will revert to Defendant for any reason.

Defendants will fund the Gross Settlement Fund by depositing the money in a Qualified Settlement Fund maintained by the Settlement Administrator within ten (10) business days of the Effective Date (“Funding Date”). Within ten (10) business days after Defendants fund the Gross Settlement Fund, the Settlement Administrator will mail checks for the Individual Settlement Payments to each Settlement Class Member that has not submitted a timely request for exclusion.

Settlement Administration and Other Payments. The Court has tentatively approved certain payments to be made from the Total Settlement Amount as follows, which will be subject to final Court approval:

  • Settlement Administration. Payment to the Settlement Administrator, estimated to be $13,500.00, for the expense of notifying the Class Members of the Settlement, processing requests to be excluded from the settlement submitted by Class Members, and distributing settlement payments.
  • Attorneys’ Fees, Expenses, and Costs. Payment to Court-approved Class Counsel of reasonable attorneys’ fees not to exceed $482,850.00 (33.3% of the Gross Settlement Fund) as Class Counsel’s Attorney’ Fees and an amount not to exceed $30,000 for all costs and expenses incurred litigating the Actions as documented in Class Counsel’s billing records as the Attorneys’ Fees and Costs Award. Class Counsel has been prosecuting the Actions on behalf of Plaintiff and Settlement Class and the Aggrieved Employees on a contingency fee basis (that is, without being paid any money to date) and has been paying all litigation costs and expenses.
  • Class Representative Service Payment. A service award not to exceed a total of $10,000, representing an award to Plaintiff for his services on behalf of the Settlement Class Members and Aggrieved Employees in initiating and prosecuting the Actions and for granting Defendants a broad release of all claims including claims not alleged in the This payment is in addition to whatever payment the Plaintiff is otherwise entitled to as a Settlement Class Member.
  • PAGA Settlement. Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($75,000) shall be allocated from the Gross Settlement Fund for settlement of claims for civil penalties under the PAGA (“PAGA Amount”). The Settlement Administrator shall pay seventy-five percent (75%) of the PAGA Amount ($56,250.00) to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency no later than ten (10) business days after the Funding Date (hereinafter “LWDA Payment”). Twenty-five (25%) of the PAGA Amount ($18,750.00) will be distributed to the Aggrieved Employees (hereinafter “Employee Payment”).

Calculation of Individual Settlement Shares. After the above payments are subtracted from the Total Settlement Amount, the remaining amount (the “Net Settlement Fund” or “NSF”) will be used to pay Individual Settlement Shares to each Settlement Class Member that does not submit a timely request for exclusion. The Net Settlement Amount is estimated to be $838,650.00.

The Settlement Administrator shall calculate from Defendants’ records the number of shifts worked by a Class Member for Defendants during the Settlement Class Period, excluding any Released Period for that Class Member, if applicable (hereafter, the “Work Shifts”). Work Shifts will be calculated in accordance with Defendants regular practice for tracking Work Shifts. Each Class Member’s share of the NSF (“Individual Settlement Share(s)”) will be calculated initially for purposes of mailing the Notice by multiplying the NSF by a fraction, the numerator of which is the Class Member’s total number of Work Shifts, and the denominator of which is the total number of Work Shifts of all Class Members. Each Settlement Class Member’s final Individual Settlement Share for purposes of payment will be calculated by multiplying the NSF by a fraction, the numerator of which is the Settlement Class Member’s total number of Work Shifts, and the denominator of which is the total number of Work Shifts of all Settlement Class Members, excluding all Released Periods applicable to the Class Members, individually and collectively. Twenty (20) additional Work Shifts will be assigned to each Settlement Class Member who is a former employee no longer working for Defendants as of the date of preliminary approval for purpose of determining the Individual Settlement Share for Settlement Class Members that are no longer working for Defendants in light of the claim for Section 203 penalties in the Actions. 

Each Individual Settlement Share will be reduced by any legally mandated employee tax withholdings (e.g., employee payroll taxes, etc.). Individual Settlement Shares for the Settlement Class Members who submit valid and timely requests for exclusion will be redistributed to the participating Settlement Class Members on a pro rata basis based on their respective payment ratios. 

Settlement Class Members who do not submit a request for exclusion from the Settlement as provided for below will be entitled to receive an Individual Settlement Share. If you do nothing, you will be deemed a participating Settlement Class Member, settlement checks will automatically be mailed to you, and you will release all claims you may have related to the allegations in the Actions, as described below. 

Calculation of the Employee Payment of PAGA Amount. For purposes of distributing the Employee Payment to the Aggrieved Employees, the Settlement Administrator shall calculate from Defendants’ records the number of Work Weeks worked by all Aggrieved Employees during the PAGA Period. A “Work Week” shall mean any pay period during the PAGA Period in which an Aggrieved Employee was paid wages for hours worked. The Settlement Administrator shall calculate each Aggrieved Employee’s share of the Employee Payment by multiplying the Employee Payment by a fraction, the numerator of which is the Aggrieved Employee’s total number of Work Weeks, and the denominator of which is the total number of Work Weeks of all Aggrieved Employees in the PAGA Period. Released Periods will not be considered in determining the amount of any Employee Payment of PAGA Amount.

Tax Matters. For the purpose of calculating applicable taxes, Individual Settlement Payments shall be allocated and treated as follows: twenty-five percent (25%) as wages subject to wage withholdings which shall be reported on IRS Form W-2, twenty-five percent (25%) for penalties, twenty-five percent (25%) statutory and other non- wage damages, and twenty-five percent (25%) for interest allegedly due to employees which is not subject to wage withholdings and shall be reported on IRS Form 1099. Participating Settlement Class Members shall be exclusively liable for any employee’s share of tax liability, if any. Settlement Class Members may wish to consult their tax advisors concerning the tax consequences of the payments they receive under the Settlement.

A. Class Action Release. Upon the funding of the Gross Settlement Fund by Defendants, Plaintiff and the participating Settlement Class Members will release RSI Home Products, Inc., RSI Professional Cabinet Solutions (also known as “Professional Cabinet Solutions”) and each of its respective affiliates, parent companies, subsidiaries, shareholders, officers, partners, directors, members, owners, servants, employees, employers, agents, contractors, attorneys, insurers, predecessors, representatives, accountants, executors, successors, and assigns, past, present, and future, including without limitation Professional Cabinet Solutions and American Woodmark Corporation, and each and all of their respective shareholders, officers, partners, directors, members, owners, servants, employees, employers, agents, contractors, attorneys, insurers, predecessors, representatives, accountants, executors, successors, assigns, and pension, profit sharing, retirement savings, health and welfare, and any other employee benefit plans of any nature and the respective trustees, administrators, sponsors, fiduciaries, successors, agents, and employees of all such plans, past, present, and future, and all persons acting under, by, through, or in concert with any of them (collectively, the “Released Parties”), of and from any and all allegations, claims, debts, rights, demands, charges, complaints, actions, causes of action, guarantees, costs, expenses, attorneys’ fees, economic damages, non-economic damages, restitution, civil penalties, statutory penalties, liquidated damages, punitive damages, interest, obligations, liabilities, or other monies and remedies, of any and every kind, contingent or accrued, that have been or could have been alleged or asserted in any of the pleadings filed in the Actions based on the factual and/or legal violations contained therein, and in any notice sent to the LWDA pursuant to PAGA based on the factual and/or legal violations allegations contained therein, including the PAGA notices sent to date or to be sent pursuant to the Settlement, for failure to provide or pay for missed or non-compliant meal breaks, failure to authorize and permit or pay for missed or non-compliant rest breaks, failure to pay or underpaid wages of any type (including minimum and/or overtime wages), failure to timely pay wages of any type, failure to furnish accurate itemized wage statements, failure to provide and maintain accurate timekeeping and/or payroll records, failure to reimburse employment-related expenses, violations of the California Paid Sick Leave Act, violations of the California Wage Theft Prevention Act, failure to provide personnel records, violation of Cal. Labor Code §§ 232 and/or 235.5, violation of the California Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), and/or civil penalties pursuant to PAGA, based in whole or in part on any direct or imputed violation of any federal, state, local or administrative constitution, charter, law, rule, regulation or ordinance, through the date of Preliminary Approval of this Settlement Agreement (collectively, “Released Claims”) that occurred during the Settlement Class Period. To the extent required under applicable law, Settlement Class Members will be deemed to have opted-in to the Litigation for purposes of the FLSA by operation of cashing, depositing, or otherwise negotiating their Individual Settlement Payment check.

B. PAGA Release. Upon the funding of the Gross Settlement Fund by Defendants, the LWDA and the Aggrieved Employees will release the Released Parties from any and all claims and causes of action, known or unknown, contingent or accrued, arising out of the facts and claims asserted in the Actions and from all violations asserted or that could have been asserted based on the facts, allegations and/or legal violations contained in any notice sent to the LWDA as referenced in any of the pleadings filed in the PAGA Action (including the First Amended Complaint to filed as a condition of this Settlement) including, without limitation, for civil penalties under the Private Attorney General Act of 2004 Labor Code § 2698 et seq. based upon the facts alleged: failure to provide meal and rest breaks; unpaid wages, including for failure to provide or pay for missed or non-compliant meal breaks, failure to authorize and permit or pay for missed or non-compliant rest breaks, failure to pay or underpaid wages of any type (including minimum and/or overtime wages), failure to timely pay wages of any type, failure to furnish accurate itemized wage statements, failure to provide and maintain accurate timekeeping and/or payroll records, failure to reimburse employment-related expenses, violations of the California Paid Sick Leave Act, violations of the California Wage Theft Prevention Act, failure to provide personnel records, violation of Cal. Labor Code §§ 232 and/or 235.5 (“Released PAGA Claims”) that occurred during the PAGA Period.

Conditions of Settlement. This Settlement is conditioned upon the Court entering an order and judgment at or following a final approval hearing on the Settlement and Defendants funding the Gross Settlement Fund.

4. How much will my payment be?

A. Individual Settlement Share

Defendants’ records reflect that you have <<WorkShifts>> Work Shifts during the Settlement Class Period that are not subject to a Released Period. Consequently, your estimated Individual Settlement Share is $<<Est. Settlement>>.

B. Share of PAGA Group Payment

Defendant’s records reflect that you have <<PayPeriods>> Workweeks during the PAGA Period. Consequently, your estimated Employee Payment as share of the PAGA Payment is <<Est.PAGA>>

If you wish to challenge the information stated immediately above, then you must submit a written, signed challenge including: (a) your full name, current mailing address, telephone number, signature, and last four digits of the Social Security number; (b) a statement indicating that you seek to dispute the number of Work Shifts credited to you during the Settlement Class Period, and the number of Work Shifts that you contend should be credited to you; and (c) documentation and/or other facts supporting your position. You must submit any dispute to the Settlement Administrator at the address provided in this Class Notice no later than forty-five (45) calendar days after the postmark date of this Class Notice.

5. How can I get a payment?

To receive a payment under this Settlement, you do not have to do anything. A check for your Settlement Share will be mailed automatically to the same address as this Class Notice. If your address is incorrect or has changed, you must notify the Settlement Administrator.  The Settlement Administrator is: ILYM Group, Inc., P.O. Box 2031 Tustin, CA 92781, 1(888) 250-6810.

The Court will hold a hearing on July 30, 2021 to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement and there are no objections or appeals, settlement payments will be mailed to you within twenty (20) business days after the Court approves the Settlement. If there are objections or appeals, resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year.  Please be patient.

6. What if I don’t want to be part of the Settlement?

If you do not wish to participate in the Settlement, you may exclude yourself from the Settlement or “opt-out.” Any Settlement Class Member who timely and properly requests to be excluded or opt-out as a Settlement Class Member will not be entitled to an Individual Settlement Payment and will not be otherwise bound by the terms of the Settlement including the Class Action Release or have any right to object, appeal or comment thereon. However, any Settlement Class Member that submits a timely request for exclusion that is also an Aggrieved Employee will still receive their pro rata share of the PAGA Payment, and in consideration, will be bound by the PAGA Release as set forth herein.

To opt-out, you must submit a written request to the Settlement Administrator that states “I do not want to be part of the settlement class in the Rodriguez v. RSI Home Products Inc., et al., San Bernardino Superior Court, Case Number CIVDS2023354 class action.” This request for exclusion or opt-out must be (a) signed and dated; (b) state the Settlement Class Member’s name, address, Social Security Number, and telephone number; (c) include the case name and number of the PAGA Action; and (d) be postmarked no later than June 17, 2021. Written requests for exclusion that are postmarked after June 17, 2021, or otherwise fail to meet the requirements set forth in this paragraph, will be rejected, and those Settlement Class Members will remain bound by the Settlement and the release described above. A Settlement Class Member who properly and timely submits a request for exclusion or opt-out will not be bound by the Class Action Release and will not receive an Individual Settlement Share but will, however, receive their share of the Employee Payment and be bound by the PAGA Release.

7. How do I tell the Court that I don’t like the Settlement?

Any Settlement Class Member, who has not opted out and believes that the Settlement should not be finally approved by the Court for any reason, may object to the proposed Settlement. Objections may be in writing, and any written objection must be signed and must include: (a) the Settlement Class Member’s full name, current mailing address, signature, and last four digits of the Social Security number; (b) a statement indicating the legal and factual grounds for the objection; (c) a statement indicating whether the objecting Class Member is represented by counsel and identifying any such counsel; and (d) a statement indicating whether the objecting Class Member intends to appear for and wishes to be heard at the Final Approval Hearing. The objections must be submitted to the Settlement Administrator at the below addresses on or before June 17, 2021. All written objections or other correspondence must also state the name and number of the case, which is Rodriguez v. RSI Home Products Inc., et al., San Bernardino Superior Court, Case Number CIVDS2023354. To object to the Settlement, you must remain a member of the Settlement Class, and if the Court approves the Settlement, you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement. Any Settlement Class Member who does not object in the manner provided in this Class Notice shall have waived any objection to the Settlement, whether by appeal or otherwise.

Objections may also be made orally, with or without submitting a written objection, by appearing at the Final Approval Hearing on the date and time, and at the location, described in Section 8 below. Settlement Class Members may appear, either in person or through their own attorney at their expense, at the final approval hearing and have their objections heard by the Court.

The address for the Settlement Administrator is

Rodriguez v. RSI Home Products, Inc. – Settlement Administrator
c/o ILYM Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 2031
Tustin, CA 92781
Phone: 1-888-250-6810

The addresses for Parties’ counsel are as follows: 

Class Counsel:
Jean Claude Lapuyade, Esq. JCL LAW FIRM, APC
3990 Old Town Ave., Suite C204 San Diego, CA 92110
Tel: 619-599-6999 / Fax: 619-599-8291
Email: jlapuyade@jcl-lawfirm.com
Website: www.jcl-lawfirm.com

Counsel for Defendants
Sabrina A. Beldner, Esq.
McGuireWoods LLP
1800 Century Park East, 7th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067

8. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement? 

The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 10:00 AM on July 30, 2021, at the San Bernardino County Superior Court in Department S-26 located at 247 West 3rd Street, San Bernardino, California 92415. At this hearing the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The purpose of this hearing is for the Court to determine whether to grant final approval to the Settlement. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will listen to people who wish to make an objection. This hearing may be rescheduled by the Court without further notice to you. You are not required to attend the Final Approval Hearing, although any Class Member is welcome to attend the hearing.

9. How do I get more information? 

You may call the Settlement Administrator at (888) 250-6810 or write to Rodriguez v. RSI Home Products Inc., et al. – Settlement Administrator, c/o ILYM Group, Inc., P.O. Box 2031 Tustin, CA 92781.

You may receive a copy of the Settlement, the Final Judgment or other settlement documents by writing to the Settlement Administrator. You may also get more details by examining the documents in the court’s file at the

Clerk’s Office located at 247 West 3rd Street, San Bernardino, California 92415 or visiting the Court’s Register of Actions.

PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE COURT ABOUT THIS CLASS NOTICE. 

IMPORTANT:

  • You must keep the Settlement Administrator aware of any change of address to ensure receipt of any settlement payment(s).
  • Settlement checks will be null and void 180 days after issuance if not deposited or In such event ILYM Group, Inc. shall cancel uncashed checks and redistribute the funds associated with such cancelled checks to the following cy pres recipient, to The Children’s Advocacy Institute (CAI). If your check is lost or misplaced, you should contact the Settlement Administrator immediately to request a replacement.
  • Visit the case website hosted by ILYM Group, Inc. at https://www.ilymgroup.com/RSIHomeProducts. The website will include provide notice and information about the Settlement to Class Members 
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