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ILYM Group, Inc.
Phone 888.250.6810
Fax 888.845.6185

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14751 Plaza Dr., Ste J
Tustin, CA 92780

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NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF CLASS AND REPRESENTATIVE ACTION SETTLEMENT
AND FINAL HEARING DATE

Baltazar v. Westgate Hotel Company, et al., currently pending in the Superior Court for the County of San Diego, Case No. 37-2020-00005102

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

SUMMARY OF YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT:

Do Nothing and Receive a Payment To receive a cash payment from the Settlement, you do not have to do anything.

Your estimated Individual Settlement Payment is: $<<EstSettlement>>. See the explanation below.

After final approval by the Court, the payment will be mailed to you at the same address as this notice. If your address has changed, please notify the Settlement Administrator as explained below. In exchange for the settlement payment, you will release claims against the Defendants as detailed below.

Exclude Yourself If you wish to exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a written request for exclusion to the Settlement Administrator as provided below. If you request exclusion, you will receive no money from the Settlement.

Instructions are set forth below, except that you will still receive your Aggrieved Employee Payment.

Object You may write to the Court about why you do not like the settlement.

Directions are provided below.

1. Why did I get this Notice?

A proposed class action settlement (the “Settlement”) of this lawsuit entitled Baltazar v. Westgate Hotel Company, et al., Case No. 37-2020-00005102, currently pending in the Superior Court for the County of San Diego (the “Court”) has been reached between JACQUELINE BALTAZAR(“Plaintiff”) and WESTGATE HOTEL COMPANY, SINCLAIR SERVICES COMPANY, and GRAND AMERICA HOTELS & RESORTS, INC(“Defendants”). The Court has granted preliminary approval of the Settlement. You may be entitled to receive money from this Settlement.

You have received this Class Notice because you have been identified as a Settlement Class Member, which is defined as: 

All of Defendants’ current and former non-exempt employees employed in California at the Westgate Hotel in San Diego between January 27, 2016 and February 14, 2021.

The “Class Period” is the period of time running from January 27, 2016 and February 14, 2021.

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

2. What is this class action lawsuit about?

On January 17, 2020, Plaintiff filed a Notice of Violations with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) and served the same on Defendants.

On January 27, 2020, Plaintiff filed a class action complaint in the San Diego Superior Court for: (1) Unfair Competition in Violation of Bus. and Prof. Code §§ 17200; (2) failure to pay minimum wages in violation of California Labor Code sections 1194, 1197 and 1197.1; (3) failure to pay overtime wages in violation of California Labor Code sections 510 et seq.; (4) failure to pay gratuities in violation of California Labor Code section 351; (5) failure to provide required meal periods in violation of California Labor Code sections 226.7 and 512; (6) failure to provide required rest periods in violation of California Labor Code sections 226.7 and 512; (7) failure to reimburse employees for required business expenses in violation of California Labor Code sections 2802; (8) failure to provide accurate itemized wage statements in violation of California Labor Code section 226; and (9) failure to provide wages when due in violation of California Labor Code sections 201, 202 and 203.

On May 28, 2020, Plaintiff filed the operative First Amended Complaint alleging a tenth cause of action for violations of the California Labor Code Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”). Thereafter, Defendants answered the First Amended Complaint.

On December 9, 2020, the Parties participated in mediation presided over by the Honorable Judge Steven R. Denton (Ret.), a respected jurist and mediator. Following the mediation, each side, represented by its respective counsel, were able to agree to settle the Action based on a mediator’s proposal which was memorialized in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding. The Court granted preliminary approval of the Settlement on April 2, 2021. At that time, the Court also preliminarily approved the Plaintiff to serve as the Class Representatives, and the law firm of JCL Law Firm, APC to serve as Class Counsel.

Defendants deny and dispute all claims asserted in the Action. Specifically, Defendants contended (and continue to contend) that the Action could not properly be maintained as a class action; that Defendants provided members of the class with all legally required meal breaks and rest breaks; that Defendants paid any members of the class all wages due them at the time of their terminations; that Defendants provided accurate, itemized wage statements to members of the class; that Defendants did not violate California Business and Professions Code section 17200 et seq.; and that Defendants are not liable for any of the penalties claimed or that could be claimed in the Action.

3. What are the terms of the Settlement?

Total Settlement Amount. Defendants have agreed to pay an “all in” amount of Seven Hundred Forty ThousandDollars ($740,000)(the “Total Settlement Amount”) to fund the settlement. The Total Settlement Amount includes the payment of all Individual Settlement Payments to participating Settlement Class Members, the Class Counsel Award, Settlement Administration Costs, the PAGA Settlement, and the Class Representative Service Award to the Plaintiff.

Within ten (10) calendar days of the Effective Date, Defendants will fund the Total Settlement Amount by depositing the money into a Qualified Settlement Fund maintained by the third partySettlement Administrator.

Amounts to be Paid From the Total Settlement Amount. The Settlement provides for certain payments to be made from the Total Settlement Amount, which will be subject to final Court approval, and which will be deducted from the Total Settlement Amount before settlement payments are made to Settlement Class Members, as follows:

  • Settlement Administration Expenses. Payment to the Settlement Administrator, estimated not to exceed $13,000.00, for expenses, including expenses of sending this Notice, processing opt outs, and distributing settlement payments.
  • Attorneys’ Fees and Costs. Subject to Court approval, Class Counsel shall seek a Class Counsel Award in an amount equal to one-third of the Total Settlement Amount currently estimated to be $246,666.66 for reasonable attorneys’ fees, plus costs and expenses supported by declaration not to exceed $15,000.00. The Class Counsel Award is intended to compensate and reimburse Class Counsel for all of the work already performed and all of the work remaining to be performed by Class Counsel in documenting the settlement, securing Court approval of the settlement, administering the settlement, and making sure that the settlement is fairly administered and implemented.
  • Class Representative Service Award. Class Representative Service Award of up to Seven Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($7,500.00) to Plaintiff, or such lesser amount as may be approved by the Court, to compensate him for services on behalf of the Class in initiating and prosecuting the Action, and for the risks he undertook.
  • PAGA Settlement. A payment of $20,000 relating to Plaintiff’s claim under the Private Attorney General’s Act (“PAGA”), $15,000of which will be paid to the State of California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”) and the remaining $5,000 will be distributed to Aggrieved Employees which are all of Defendants’ current and former non-exempt employees employed in California at the Westgate Hotel in San Diego between January 17, 2019 and February 14, 2021.
  • Calculation of Payments to Participating Class Members. After all the above payments of the court-approved Settlement Administration Expenses, Class Counsel Award, the Class Representative Service Award and the PAGA Settlement are deducted from the Total Settlement Amount, the remaining portion, called the “Net Settlement Amount,” shall be distributed to class members who do not request exclusion (“Participating Settlement Class Members”). The Individual Settlement Payment for each Participating Class Member will be calculated by (a) dividing the Net Settlement Amount by the total number of workweeks worked for all Participating Class Members that occurred during the Class Period and (b) multiplying the result by each individual Participating Class Member’s workweeks worked that occurred during the Class Period.

If the Settlement is approved by the Court, you will automatically be mailed a check for your Settlement Share to the same address as this Class Notice. You do not have to do anything to receive a payment. If your address has changed, you must contact the Settlement Administrator to inform them of your correct address to insure you receive your payment.

Tax Matters. 25% of each Settlement Share constitutes wages in the form of back-pay (and each Participating Class Member will be issued an Internal Revenue Service Form W-2 for such payment) and 75% of each Settlement Share constitutes interest, penalties and other non-wage payments (and each Participating Class Member will be issued an Internal Revenue Service Form 1099 for such payment). Neither Class Counsel nor Defendants’ counsel intend anything contained in this Settlement to constitute advice regarding taxes or taxability. You may wish to consult a tax advisor concerning the tax consequences of the payments received under the Settlement.

Conditions of Settlement. This Settlement is conditioned upon the Court entering an order granting final approval of the Settlement and entering judgment.

4. What Do I Release Under the Settlement?

Released Class Claims. Upon the Funding Date, each of the Participating Class Members shall release all class claims, actions, demands, causes of action, suits, debts, obligations, damages, penalties, rights or liabilities, of any nature and description whatsoever, that are asserted in the Action, or could have been asserted in the Action based on the claims and theories plead in the operative complaint on file at the time of final approval, or raised during the mediation of this dispute, including but not limited to, Labor Code sections 201, 201.3, 202, 203, 204, 210, 218.5, 218.6, 226, 226.3, 226.7, 351, 510, 512, 558, 1174(d), 1174.5, 1194, 1197, 1197.1, 1198, 1199, 2802, and 2804 and the applicable IWC Wage Orders which occurred during the Class Period, and expressly excluding all other claims, including claims for wrongful termination, unemployment insurance, disability, social security, workers’ compensation, and class claims outside of the Class Period.

This means that, if you do not timely and formally exclude yourself from the settlement, you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendants about the legal issues resolved by this Settlement. It also means that all of the Court’s orders in this Action will apply to you and legally bind you.

Released PAGA Claims. Upon the Funding Date, each Aggrieved Employee, the LWDA and Plaintiff shall release any and all claims for relief under PAGA, of whatever kind or nature, whether known or unknown, arising during the PAGA Period, based on the facts alleged in the operative complaint at the time of final approval by Plaintiff in the Action and Plaintiff’s notice letters to the LWDA including, but not limited to, Labor Code sections 201, 201.3, 202, 203, 204, 210, 218.5, 218.6, 226, 226.3, 226.7, 351, 510, 512, 558, 1174(d), 1174.5, 1194, 1197, 1197.1, 1198, 1199, 2802, and 2804 and the applicable IWC Wage Orders, and any resulting claim for attorneys’ fees and costs under PAGA, which occurred during the PAGA Periods.

 

5. How much will my payment be?

Defendants’ records reflect that you have <<Workweeks>> work-weeks worked during the Class Period.

Based on this information, your estimated Individual Settlement Payment is $<<EstSettlement>>.

Defendants’ records reflect that you have <<PAGAWorkweeks>> work-weeks worked during the PAGA Period. 

Based on this information, your estimated Individual Settlement Payment is $<<EstPAGA>>.

If you wish to challenge the information set forth above, then you must submit a written, signed dispute challenging the information along with supporting documents, to the Settlement Administrator at the address provided in this Notice no later than June 28, 2021.

6. How can I get a payment?

To get money from the settlement, you do not have to do anything. A check for your settlement payment will be mailed automatically to the same address as this Notice. If your address is incorrect or has changed, you must notify the Settlement Administrator. The Settlement Administrator is: ILYM Group, Inc. (888) 250-6810

The Court will hold a hearing on August 27, 2021to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement and there are no objections or appeals, payments will be mailed within a few months after this hearing. If there are objections or appeals, resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Please be patient.

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

If you do not wish to participate in the Settlement, you may exclude yourself from the Settlement or “opt out.” If you opt out, you will receive NO money from the Settlement, and you will not be bound by its terms.

To opt out, you must submit to the Settlement Administrator, by First Class Mail, a written, signed and dated request for exclusion postmarked no later than June 28, 2021. The address for the Settlement Administrator is ILYM Group, Inc. The request for exclusion must state in substance: “I have read the Class Notice and I wish to opt out of the class action and settlement of the case Baltazar v. Westgate Hotel Company, et al., currently pending in the Superior Court for the County of San Diego, Case No. 37-2020-00005102. The request for exclusion must contain your name, address, signature and the last four digits of your Social Security Number for verification purposes. The request for exclusion must be signed by you. No other person may opt out for a member of the Class.

The address for the Settlement Administrator is P.O. Box 2031 Tustin, CA 92781. Written requests for exclusion that are postmarked after June 28, 2021, or are incomplete or unsigned will be rejected, and those Class Members will remain bound by the Settlement and the release described above.

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

Any 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 must be in writing and state the Class Member’s name, current address, telephone number, and describe why you believe the Settlement is unfair and whether you intend to appear at the final approval hearing. All objections or other correspondence must also state the name and number of the case, which is Baltazar v. Westgate Hotel Company, et al., currently pending in the Superior Court for the County of San Diego, Case No. 37-2020-00005102.

To object to the Settlement, you must not opt out. If the Court approves the Settlement, you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement in the same way as Class Members who do not object. Any 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.

The objections must be delivered or mailed to the Settlement Administrator no later than June 28, 2021with copies to the Parties’ counsel. The address for the Settlement Administrator is P.O. Box 2031 Tustin, CA 92781.

The addresses for the Parties’ counsel are as follows:

Class Counsel:
Jean-Claude Lapuyade
The JCL Law Firm, APC
3990 Old Town Ave., Suite C204
San Diego, CA 92110
Tel: 619-599-8292
Email: jlapuyade@jcl-lawfirm.com
Website: www.jcl-lawfirm.com
Defense Counsel
James M. Peterson
Derek Paradis
HIGGS FLETCHER & MACK
401 W. A St., Suite 2600
San Diego, CA 92101
Tel: 619-236-1551
Email: peterson@higgslaw.com
Website: www.higgslaw.com

The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 1:30 PM on August 27, 2021, at the San DiegoCounty Superior Court, located at 330West Broadway, San Diego, California 92101in Department 72 before JudgeTimothy Taylor. 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 have made a timely written request to speak at the hearing. 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 about the Settlement?

You may call the Settlement Administrator at (888) 250-6810 or write to Baltazar v. Westgate Hotel Company, et al., currently pending in the Superior Court for the County of San Diego, Case No. 37-2020-00005102Settlement Administrator, c/o ILYM Group, Inc.

This notice summarizes the proposed settlement.  More details are in the Settlement Agreement.  You may receive a copy of the Settlement Agreement, the Final Judgment or other Settlement documents by writing to the JCL LAW FIRM, APC, 3990 Old Town Ave., Suite C204, San Diego, CA 92110.  

PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE COURT ABOUT THIS NOTICE.

IMPORTANT:

  • You must inform the Settlement Administrator of any change of address to ensure receipt of your settlement payment.
  • Settlement checks will be null and void 180 days after issuance if not deposited or cashed.  In such event, the Settlement Administrator shall pay all funds from such uncashed checks to San Diego County Bar Foundation in accordance with Code of Civil Procedure Section 384 in the name of the Participating Class Member.  If your check is lost or misplaced, you should contact the Settlement Administrator immediately to request a replacement.
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