We have been informed that the processing has proceeded in accordance with the planned schedule. Hence, at this point we still believe that Rust should have all of the funds by October 1st, 2021.
In the meantime, we sincerely appreciate the efforts of several class members who have located some of the missing class members or their heirs. An updated list of claimant's with missing addresses can be found here. For more information, see "NOTICE: MISSING CLASS MEMBERS" below.
Update as of 8/25/2021:
As a follow-up to our update on August 10, 2021; we were informed this week that the processing has proceeded in accordance with the schedule given by the government, so at this time we do not expect any delays beyond the outside date of October 1st for this to be completed. We shall try to update this again shortly after the Labor Day holiday.
UPDATE AS OF 8/10/2021
Last week we learned that the government will be done with their processing of the award monies so that the funds can be transferred to the Class Administrator Rust no later than Oct. 1, 2021. Checks should be mailed within approximately two weeks of when Rust receives the funds during which time they will be preparing all the necessary tax filings and having the checks issues. We expressed our concern to the Court that the government’s process was so lengthy, though it apparently involves having one senior designated paralegal enter the component parts of every award (award, attorney fees, taxes etc.) for every class member individually into their system in batches of 250. While the Judge held the timeframe was not unreasonable, her order also clearly indicated that if the process was not complete within that time, the government had to give detailed reasons for any delay. Her most recent order is posted here.
UPDATE AS OF 6/29/2021
Effective June 29, 2021, Judge Campbell-Smith granted final approval to the proposed settlement. We are expecting payments to be made within the next two months, but will revise that after further communications with the Attorney General in charge of the case. The settlement information will get processed to get to the Treasury Department so the latter can get the funds shipped to the Claims Administrator, Rust, who in turn will be sending out the checks. We will keep this site updated as more information becomes known to us in terms of timing.
NOTICE: MISSING CLASS MEMBERS
The Claims Administrator still does not have valid current addresses for approximately 7 of our Class Members, based on the return of their postcard notification. Efforts to obtain new addresses for these individuals have been unsuccessful.
If you are on this list, please provide us with your current address IMMEDIATELY so that you will be able to receive your award. Awards that go out that are returned for lack of a valid current address will ultimately be returned back to the government and will not be recoverable later. Please take action now to avoid the loss of an award.
To update your address, email your current address to firstname.lastname@example.org with Sunday Premium Pay in the subject line. If you need to do this by phone, please call Mike Bolles at 212.226.2800 x 2.
UPDATE AS OF 5/25/2021
At the Fairness Hearing, Judge Campbell-Smith indicated that she expected to sign an Order approving the settlement but requested that one additional piece of paperwork be filed to capture all of the changes resulting from the recalculation of estimated state and federal taxes for the 2021 year. We have just filed that document and a copy is attached here.
Please not that we have received approximately 75 changes of address since April 2021 when the new calculations were done. Those new addresses will not appear on this award list since as a document filed with the Court, we cannot change it. However, for the purpose of mailing checks, we have continued to update addresses as we have gotten calls or e mails about such changes and anyone who has made such a change should have gotten an e mail or verbal confirmation that we have it.
REGARDING THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT SUNDAY PREMIUM PAY
A settlement has been agreed to in which the United States will pay a lump-sum to a Settlement Trust to settle the Sunday premium pay claims of the Class for the period October 28, 2005 through March 29, 2020, when the Census Bureau began paying Field Representatives Sunday premium pay. The lump sum settlement amount is inclusive of the following items: back pay with interest calculated through December 31, 2020; attorneys’ fees; costs and expenses including the expenses of the Class Administrator; and employer payroll taxes. The settlement has received preliminary approval from the Court, which is the reason you received a summary notice by mail and, if we had your email address, by email, as well.
Back Pay With Interest
A portion of the lump sum covers the back pay claims and interest and represents approximately 88.5% of the amount potentially recoverable with further litigation presuming all subsequent decisions by the Court of Federal Claims as well as any appeal decisions were ultimately fully in favor of the Class, while at the same time fully eliminating the risk of potentially receiving less or nothing at all or a similar amount years from now. In other words, in the interest of eliminating risk and obtaining payments to Class members now, a modest compromise was reached. Each member of the Class will receive a distribution from the Settlement Trust based upon Sunday hours worked by that Class member.
Reimbursement of the Costs & Expenses
The settlement provides for full reimbursement by the government to Class counsel for the substantial costs and expenses the firms incurred in this case, as well as for additional work performed by and to be performed by the Class Administrator through the final issuance of checks to Class members and the provision of a final accounting. Reimbursement and payment of these costs and expenses will not come out of the back pay recovery, notwithstanding the provision in the Opt-In Claim Forms signed by each class member allowing for such a reduction.
Class Counsel has requested attorneys’ fees equal to 30% of the back pay recovery with interest in accordance with the settlement agreement and the Court has preliminarily approved counsel’s request. This is in keeping with the Opt-In claim forms signed by each class member agreeing that attorneys’ fees could be awarded out of the total recovery in the case. It is also in keeping with the practice in the U.S. Court of Claims and other federal courts in class action cases. The 30% reduction will be applied on a pro rata basis so as to ensure such fees are equitably shared. The Administrator will pay all attorney fees approved by the Court directly from the Settlement Trust. No Class Member will have to pay these fees separately.
The Settlement also includes an additional amount to be paid by the government for employer payroll taxes on behalf of each class member. In addition, it provides that the Class Administrator will prepare and file the applicable state and federal tax filings and make the applicable tax payments for each Class member out of his/her respective recovery. Upon approval by the Court, the Class Administrator will disburse to Class members their net back pay, after reduction for attorneys’ fees and estimated taxes.
The Fairness Hearing
The Court helda virtual hearing at the United States Court of Federal Claims, 717 Madison Place, NW, Washington D.C. 20005 at 11:30 am (EST) on May 18, 2021 to determine whether it should grant final approval of the proposed settlement including the requested amount of attorneys’ fees and expenses.
Issuance of Payments
If the Court approves the settlement, the settlement funds will be sent from the United States Treasury, a process which can take several months. Upon receipt of the settlement funds, the Class Administrator will send each Class member his or her net distributive share.
The Court’s Decisions granting Preliminary Approval of the Settlement and setting of the date for a fairness hearing may be found by clicking here on COURT DECISIONS.
Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Approval with Exhibits may be found by clinking here on MOTION.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs – may be found by clicking on FAQsand here FAQs2.
The FAQs will be updated as new questions arise. While we will not be able to answer questions individually either by phone or e-mail, if you email questions to email@example.com and put “SPP” or “Sunday Premium Pay” in the subject line, we will do our best to insure the FAQs responds to your question or ones like it. It is critical that you fill in the subject line as we will be filtering e-mails and e-mails without the subject line are likely to be directed to a spam folder.