NOTICE OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION

TO: All current, former, or prospective workers who were assigned a Technician ID number in the Siebel system, and who installed, serviced, and/or repaired DIRECTV systems in the State of California but were not classified by DIRECTV or any Home Service Provider as W-2 employees during the Covered Period—excluding individuals who (1) performed work through White Communications, LLC, but only during the time they were performing such work; or (2) had claims against DIRECTV pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California as of August 13, 2020. The “Covered Period” is the time between October 1, 2011, to May 11, 2022. Additional benefits are available for those whose work described above was completed between October 20, 2014 and May 11, 2022 under the California Private Attorney General Act or “PAGA.” This period of time is called the “PAGA Covered Period.”

  1. What Is the Purpose of This Notice?

You are receiving this notice because your rights may be affected by the settlement of a class action lawsuit.

It is very important that the court-appointed Settlement Administrator have the correct mailing address for you to ensure you are able to receive all of the potential benefits from this settlement. The Settlement Administrator may be contacted at:

ILYM Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 2031
Tustin, CA 92781
(888) 250-6810
claims@ilymgroup.com
www.dtvtechsettlement.com

 

  1. What Is This Case About?

The lawsuit against DIRECTV, LLC alleges that DIRECTV misclassified technicians who installed and serviced DIRECTV equipment as “independent contractors,” and failed to provide them with compensation and other benefits California law requires employers to provide to employees, such as the failure to pay for all hours worked, failure to pay overtime, failure to pay minimum wage, failure to provide meal and rest periods, the imposition of unlawful wage deductions (chargebacks), failure to furnish wage statements, failure to reimburse necessary business expenses, and failure to pay wages due on discharge, layoff, or resignation. Plaintiffs also assert claims against DIRECTV for unfair business practices and under the Private Attorney General Act, Labor Code § 2698 et seq., (“PAGA”), in which the named Plaintiffs have been deputized by the State of California to sue DIRECTV for civil penalties arising out of alleged violations of the California Labor Code.

DIRECTV denies these allegations and asserts that, at all times, its actions and business practices have been lawful and appropriate.

The Court has not yet ruled on the merits of the claims. This means that there has been no ruling as to who wins and who loses.

If you want to see a copy of the Class Action Complaint, go to the Settlement Website at www.dtvtechsettlement.com, or you may call the Attorneys representing the class using the contact information provided below.

 

  1. Who Is Included In The Class Affected By This Settlement?

The class of persons and entities affected by this settlement (the “Settlement Class”) is defined as follows:

All current, former, or prospective workers who were assigned a Technician ID number in the Siebel system, and who installed, serviced, and/or repaired DIRECTV systems in the State of California but were not classified by DIRECTV or any Home Service Provider as W-2 employees during the Covered Period—excluding individuals who (1) performed work through White Communications, LLC, but only during the time they were performing such work; or (2) had claims against DIRECTV pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California as of August 13, 2020. The “Covered Period” is the time between October 1, 2011, to May 11, 2022.

 

  1. What Are The Terms Of The Settlement?

The parties have agreed to settle this case. Because this is a class action, the settlement must be approved by the Court at the hearing described in Section 5 of this Notice. The following is a summary of the settlement. To view the complete Settlement Agreement, go to the Settlement Website at www.dtvtechsettlement.com or you may call the Attorneys representing the class.

Monetary terms: DIRECTV has agreed to pay a total of $23,150,000.00 in cash, which includes approximately $3,150,000 DIRECTV has already paid to certain technicians in the form of checks in the amount of $2,250 that DIRECTV sent as part of its Individual Settlement Program. If approved by the Court, a portion of the $23,150,000 in total funds will be used to pay the amount of attorneys' fees and costs and the incentive awards to the representative plaintiffs, the costs to administer the settlement, and to settle civil penalties plaintiffs allege DIRECTV owes under PAGA. The remaining funds from the total settlement amount, after those amounts are paid and excluding the $3,150,000 previously paid, total approximately $11.83 million, which will be distributed to class members as follows:

  1. First, $250 will be allocated to all Settlement Group Members;
  2. Second, Settlement Group Members who did not cash the $2,250 check DIRECTV previously sent to certain Settlement Group Members as part of DIRECTV’s Individual Settlement Program will be allocated $2,250;
  3. Third, the remaining amount will be allocated among Settlement Class Members pro rata according to “shares” based on work orders completed in the Covered Period. The numbers of “shares” will be calculated as follows: Settlement Group Members who did not cash a check as part of the Individual Settlement Program will be allocated 2 shares per work order they completed. Settlement Group Members who cashed a check as part of the Individual Settlement Program will be allocated 1 share per completed work order.

Those Settlement Group Members who performed DIRECTV work orders during the PAGA Covered Period will also be allocated their share of the civil penalties provided by PAGA and will be paid that allocation by separate check. The total PAGA settlement amount is $150,000. Of that amount, 75% (i.e., $112,500) is required to be paid to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. The remaining 25% of the total PAGA settlement amount will be distributed to the PAGA Settlement Group Members. The amount of each check will be calculated as follows: each PAGA Settlement Group Member will be allocated a share for each work order he or she performed during the PAGA Covered Period, and the aggregate amount to be distributed to the PAGA Settlement Group Members will be allocated equally, pro rata, to each share.

Incentive Awards: As noted above, if approved by the Court, a portion of the total settlement amount, up to $5,000.00, will be paid to each of the Representative Plaintiffs for their work in achieving this settlement. DIRECTV does not oppose this payment.

Settlement Administration: As noted above, if approved by the Court, a portion of the total settlement amount, up to $40,000, to cover the costs of providing notice to Settlement Class Members, all costs and expenses of the Settlement Administrator, and all other costs of the implementation and compliance with the terms of the settlement. . DIRECTV does not oppose this payment.

Attorney Fees and Costs: Plaintiffs will apply to the court for an award of attorney's fees of $7,715,895, which constitutes 33.33% the total settlement amount, and distribute the fees among the law firms representing the plaintiffs in this action as follows: (1) 65.52% to Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP; (2) 10% to Calabro Law Office; (3) 24.48% to Lear Werst LLP.  Plaintiffs’ counsel will also ask the Court for an additional amount up to $250,000 from the total settlement amount to reimburse Plaintiffs’ counsel for their out of pocket costs and expenses, which will be distributed to Plaintiffs’ counsel, pro rata, based on their respective share of the costs.  DIRECTV does not oppose these requests.

Settlement Group Member Release: As of the Effective Date of the Settlement, Plaintiffs Giannoulis and Allen, on behalf of all other Settlement Group Members, fully release and discharge Defendant and any of its former, present or future parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, officers, directors, managers, agents, shareholders, and the predecessors and successors, assigns, and legal representatives of all such entities and individuals (“Released Parties”) of any and all known and unknown claims as alleged in, and that could have been alleged based on the facts of, the operative complaint.  This includes, but is not limited to statutory, constitutional, contractual or common law claims for wages, damages, unpaid costs or expenses, penalties, liquidated damages, punitive damages, interest, attorneys’ fees, litigation costs, restitution, or equitable relief, arising out of or based upon the following categories of allegations, to the fullest extent such claims are releasable by law:  (a) all claims for failure to pay wages, including overtime premium pay and the minimum wage that could have been alleged based on the facts set forth in the operative Complaint; (b) all claims for the failure to provide meal and/or rest periods in accordance with applicable law, including payments for missed meal and/or rest periods and alleged non-payment of wages for meal periods worked and not taken, that could have been alleged based on the facts set forth in the operative Complaint; (c) all claims for independent contractor misclassification that could have been alleged based on the facts set forth in the operative Complaint; and (d) any and all claims for recordkeeping or pay stub violations, failure to reimburse necessary business expenses, waiting time penalties, and all other civil and statutory penalties.  The released claims include without limitation claims meeting the above definition(s) under any and all applicable statutes, including without limitation any provision of the California Labor Code; California Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200 et seq.; and any provision of the applicable California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders, to the extent they were or could have been alleged based on the facts set forth in the operative Complaint. For the avoidance of doubt, the scope of the Settlement Group Member Release extends to but is limited to those claims that were or could have been alleged based on the facts set forth in the operative Complaint.

The State of California’s PAGA Release.  As of the Effective Date of the Settlement Administrator, Plaintiff Giannoulis—on behalf of the State of California, the LWDA, and the Aggrieved PAGA Settlement Group Members—fully releases and discharges Defendant and the Released Parties of all claims as alleged in (1) Giannoulis’s PAGA Notice Letter, filed with the LWDA on September 9, 2015 (Case No. LWDA-CM-302134-17) and attached to the Settlement Agreement as Exhibit 2; and (2) his Renewed PAGA Notice Letter, filed with the LWDA on March 17, 2016 (Case No. LWDA-CM-297464-17) and attached hereto as Exhibit 3; that arose during the PAGA Covered Period.  For the avoidance of doubt, the scope of California’s PAGA Release is limited to those claims disclosed in these PAGA Notice Letters.

***Please see the attached Settlement Information Sheet for an Estimate of Your Share of the Settlement, based on information currently known to the parties, and assuming the Settlement Agreement is approved by the Court.***

 

  1. When And Where Is the Hearing To Determine Whether To Approve The Settlement?

The Los Angeles Superior Court will hold a hearing to determine whether to approve this settlement (the “Final Approval Hearing”). The hearing will be held on October 6, 2022, beginning at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Maren Nelson at the Spring Street Courthouse, 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, California, in Department 17. The hearing may be adjourned or continued without further notice. If the hearing, date, time, or location is changed, a new notice will be mailed out. You may appear in person, by video, or telephone. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, the Los Angeles County Courthouses may have requirements for visitors to wear masks covering their mouths and noses while inside the courthouse. Please check the court’s website at www.lacourt.org for directions to the Courthouse, and for the most up-to-date information on options for appearing by video or telephone or in person.

 

  1. What Are My Options?

You have the right, but are not required, to appear at the Final Approval Hearing and give your views on whether this Settlement should be approved. You may retain an attorney to represent you at your own expense if you choose, but you are not required to do so. If you do not retain a separate attorney, then your interests will be represented by plaintiffs' class counsel at the Final Approval Hearing, or you may represent yourself.

  1. If you want to participate in this settlement no further action on your part is required. A check will be mailed to you if the Court issues an order granting Final Approval to this settlement. You may go to the Settlement Website to check the status of the settlement, or call the Settlement Administrator to inquire about your situation. Note: settlement checks that are not cashed within 90 days of being issued will become void and the funds will be re-distributed to other class members and/or Legal Aid at Work.
  2. You have the right to exclude yourself (“opt out”) from the Settlement Class, meaning you will not receive a payment but will retain your individual right to sue based on the subject matter of this lawsuit. To opt out, mail a letter stating that you want to be excluded from Giannoulis v. DIRECTV, LLC, Case No. BC596668. Be sure to include your name, address and signature. Your exclusion request must be received by ILYM Group, Inc., at Giannoulis v. DIRECTV, LLC, c/o ILYM Group, Inc., P.O. Box 2031, Tustin, CA 92781, by the latter of (1) August 2, 2022, or (2) up to 30 days after you first receive this notice provided that your written opt-out is received by ILYM no later than 30 days before the Final Approval Hearing. Once you are excluded, you will not receive money from the Class Settlement, you may not object to the Settlement, and you will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit with respect to the claims asserted on behalf of the Settlement Class. (Note however, that you do not have the option to opt out of the settlement of the PAGA claim. Thus, if the Court approves the PAGA settlement, you will receive a portion of the settlement funds allocated to the PAGA penalties, and you will be precluded from bringing a PAGA claim for the same violations.)
  3. If you do not opt out, you have the right to object to the terms of the settlement. To object, mail a letter stating your objection to the settlement in Giannoulis v. DIRECTV, LLC, Case No. BC596668; be sure to include your name, address and signature. Your written objection must be ILYM Group, Inc., at Giannoulis v. DIRECTV, LLC, c/o ILYM Group, Inc., P.O. Box 2031, Tustin, CA 92781, by the latter of (1) August 2, 2022, or (2) up to 30 days after you first receive this notice provided that your written opt-out is received by ILYM no later than 30 days before the Final Approval Hearing. You may also appear at the Final Approval Hearing to state your objection without submitting anything in writing. If you do not opt out, you will be bound by any judgment issued by the Court.

 

  1. What if I do not agree with the allocation stated in the Settlement Information Sheet?

Your individualized Settlement Information Sheet shows the initial estimate of how much money you are calculated to receive from the settlement as well as information about how the allocation was calculated. If you disagree with these figures, you have the right to dispute your individual allocation. To do so, you must ask the Settlement Administrator to resolve the matter no later than (i) 30 days before the Final Approval Hearing or (ii) 30 days after first receiving the Settlement Information Sheet (whichever is later), but in no event will disputes be entertained if not presented within 120 days after the Court enters an order finally approving the settlement. To make a dispute, you must return the Settlement Information Sheet with the information that you contend is correct and include with the sheet any documentation you have to support your contention.  In the event of such a dispute, DIRECTV will have the right to review its records to attempt to verify the correct information.  After consultation with Class Counsel, you, and DIRECTV, the Settlement Administrator will make a determination of the correct information, and that determination will be final, binding on the Parties and you, and be non-appealable.

 

Who Are the Attorneys Representing the Class?

The attorneys representing the class are:


George A. Hanson
STUEVE SIEGEL HANSON LLP
460 Nichols Road, Suite 200
Kansas City, Missouri 64112
Tel: (816) 714-7100
Email:  hanson@stuevesiegel.com

J. Toji Calabro
CALABRO | LAW OFFICE
Two Pershing Square
2300 Main Street, 9th Floor
Kansas City, Missouri 64108
Tel: (888) 585-1247
Email:  tojicalabro@calabro-law.com

 Bradford B. Lear
LEAR WERTS LLP
103 Ripley Street
Columbia, Missouri 65201
Tel: (573) 875-1991
Email: lear@learwerts.com

 

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT DATES

Date

Event

Within 5 days of Preliminary Approval

DIRECTV to provide Settlement Administrator and Class Counsel the Settlement Group Member Data (SA ¶ 39)

Within 21 days of Preliminary Approval

Notice Period Commences

-        Settlement Administrator to mail Class Notice

-        Settlement Administrator to publish website with required information and forms for self-identification

-        Settlement Administrator to run Facebook ads

-        Settlement Administrator to publish summary notice in trade journal(s)

(SA ¶ 40)

60 Days after Notice Period Commences

Notice Period Ends (SA ¶ 40)

 

Last Day to Opt Out of the Settlement Class except for those Settlement Group Members who did not receive their Class Notice Packet more than 30 days in advance of this date

(SA ¶ 41.b)

10 Days after Notice Period Ends

Settlement Administrator to provide the Parties a complete list of all identified Settlement Class Members, objectors, and opt-outs

(SA ¶ 44)

October 6, 2022

Date of Final Approval Hearing

Within 5 days of Final Approval

Settlement Administrator will provide DIRECTV with wire information and tax forms to fund the settlement (SA ¶ 38)

Within 21 days of Settlement Administrator providing wire instructions

DIRECTV to wire Remaining Settlement Funding Amount to the Settlement Administrator (SA ¶ 38)

First Payment Date

(if no objectors, 14 days after the Settlement Administrator receives the funds, or if objectors, 19 days after the deadline for any objector to appeal has expired or any timely filed appeal has been resolved)

 

Settlement Administrator to distribute funds to:

-        Settlement Class Members with valid addresses

-        Service Payments to Named Plaintiffs

-        California Labor and Workforce Development Agency

-        Class Counsel

-        Settlement Administrator

(SA ¶ 48)

120 Days after First Payment Date

Self-Identification Period Ends (SA ¶ 43)

90 Days after Checks Mailed

Uncashed checks become void (SA ¶ 31.d.)

 

35 Days after Self-Identification Period ends

Settlement Administrator to provide the Parties with an updated list of all Settlement Class Members (SA ¶ 44)

 

 150 Days after First Payment Date

Settlement Administrator to distribute remaining funds

(SA ¶¶ 16, 48)

 

ILYM GROUP, Inc. www.ilymgroup.com | P.O. Box 2031, Tustin, CA 92781

This website is maintained by ILYM Group, Inc, the Claims Administrator for this settlement. We are a neutral third party engaged to provide information to class members.