There has been quite a bit of frustration with members trying to communicate with the lawfirm involved in the Rowland Settlement. While there is plenty of room for understanding why this small lawfirm doesn't have the capacity to respond to communications from 4,000 class-action members, it can none-the-less be a bit frustrating when countless phone calls and emails appear to go unheard. While all of the messages are reviewed by SGT Law, not all receive a response and this (often times) leads to members contacting their Union offices to complain or attempt to intervene. Since this is somewhat overwhelming and unworkable, the Union presidents (including A&R) made a request and received an agreement from SGT Law to:
(1) immediately acknowledge all emails; (2) generate monthly communications to class members about where they are in the various categories of cases still outstanding; and (3) send copies of those communications to all of the Unions.
This will not necessarily speed up the settlement process, however, it is anticipated that acknowledgement of the communications and updates on the process will lower the level of anxiety and repeated requests for contact.
The US District Court has ruled that loss of seniority as a result of the Rowland layoffs is a form of economic loss that is recoverable under state and Federal law. Therefore, employees laid-off as a result of the 11/17/2002 Rowland action who continue or return to State service will have their seniority adjusted. The decision and agreement with the unions reads as follows:
The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) and all of its constituent bargaining units agree that, pursuant to the Settlement Agreement and Release in the class action lawsuit entitled State Employees
The State has begun to credit employees with their award for Emotional Distress and Punitive Damagers during the month of January 2016. To be eligible for an award you must have been employed with the State on 11/17/2002. The Emotional Distress and Punitive Awards are as follows:
Laid-Off and Currently working for the State: 80 hrs Vacation & 40 hrs PL Laid-Off and not Currently working for the State: $1,500 (paid in two yearly installments)
Bumped Down and Currently working for the State: 32 hrs Vacation & 24 hrs PL Bumped Down and not Currently working for the State: $700 (paid in two yearly
On October 1, 2015, the settlement agreement was approved by the presiding court. In general, the settlement offers will be rolling out over the course of the next several months depending on the level of impact
The settlement offers will be sent to Silver, Golub, and Teitell LLP.
Class members who were laid off, bumped, transferred or suffered some other adverse job consequence as a result of the layoffs in 2002/2003 should have received advance notice by mail of the hearing that was held on October 1, 2015. If you believe you fall in this category and did not receive advance mail notice of the
Gross economic1 loss less: mitigation2 or replacement earnings less: 30% settlement discount plus: prejudgment interest calculated from the date of loss to the date of payment at a rate of 5% per year.
1Gross economic loss includes, where applicable, lost wages, lost pension benefits and lost health insurance or damages resulting from loss of health insurance coverage.
2Mitigation earnings include any unemployment compensation benefits received or earnings from alternative employment which you had during the lay-off period.
Up to date Information regarding the Rowland Layoffs settlement can be found at the website of Silver, Golub and Teitell, where a SEBAC Class Action Home Page has been established.
A settlement of the lawsuit with the Connecticut Attorney General has been reached and subsequently approved by the General Assembly. The Court presiding over the case has also preliminarily approved the settlement and has scheduled a hearing to consider whether to give final approval for the settlement. That hearing will take place at 1 pm, October 1, 2015at the federal courthouse in Hartford: