INFORMATION CURRENT AS OF January 26, 2020
WE NOW HAVE A NEW TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE NUMBER AT (866) 248-8744.
We are writing to provide a report on the results of the settlement process for economic damages awards to class members in the SEBAC class action.
1. The State has identified approximately 2,400 class members entitled to recover economic damages as a result of the Rowland layoffs and demotions. We believe that there are several hundred additional class members entitled to recover economic damages as a result of having taken an involuntary retirement because of an impending layoff or of other economic losses, such as increased mileage to work due to a layoff-caused transfer of position.
2. There are approximately 1,400 class members who were laid off in late 2002-03 and returned to work within one year of layoff. We have been able, to date, to reach settlements for approximately 725 of these class members. These settled claims primarily involve individuals who returned to the same position as before the layoff and did not have continuing economic losses after their return (i.e., because of a missed promotion or annual increase). We are in the process of developing settlement offers for the remaining (app.) 675 one-year returnees. However, we do not have updated contact information (and have been unable to locate) 153 of the one-year returnees. Please click here to see the list of the one-year returnees we need to locate in order to process their economic damages settlements. If your name is on the list, please contact us as soon as possible. If you recognize someone else’s name on the list and can help us reach that person, please contact us or contact that person and ask him or her to contact us.
3. We have reached partial or complete settlements for another approximately 200 class members who are not one-year returnees and have approximately 150 offers for other class members pending with the State. We have been resolving these pending offers on a continuing basis, both through direct negotiations with the State and through court proceedings with the SEBAC Claims Administrator, Magistrate Judge Fitzsimmons. Judge Fitzsimmons has been scheduling adjudication proceedings on pending claims on an approximate biweekly basis, and we anticipate this will continue throughout 2017 and into 2018.
4. As with the one-year returnees, we have been unable to locate a number of class members who either (a) returned more than one year after layoff; (b) never returned; or (c) took retirement in lieu of layoff or demotions. Please click here to see a list of these class members whom we have been unable to locate to date, which we will be updating periodically. Again, if your name is on the list, please contact us as soon as possible; and, if you recognize someone else’s name on the list and can help us reach that person, please contact us or contact that person and ask him or her to contact us.
5. The 875+ cases settled to date, in whole or in part, have resulted in monetary awards to class members in excess of $11.9 million and in payments in the form of vacation days in lieu of monetary awards with a value in excess of $17.7 million. These amounts do not include the value of adjusted (increased) pension benefits that class members have received as a result of the awards.
6. We understand that class members are anxious to have their economic damages claims resolved, and we are working diligently and around-the-clock to do so. We have five attorneys (four full-time) and four paralegals working on developing and resolving settlement offers. The Attorney General’s Office, as well as DAS and the Comptroller’s Office, has a similar number of personnel working on resolving these awards. We are also discussing with the Attorney General’s Office possible ways in which the settlement process can be expedited.
If you are a one-year returnee and you have not yet received an award letter, one or more of the following applies to you:
1. We do not have contact information for you
2. You were laid off for more than a year
3. You were rehired to a demoted position
4. You were demoted or transferred, rather than laid off
5. You were laid off and never rehired
6. You have other unusual circumstances
7. We do not yet have your complete records from the State
IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED AN AWARD LETTER AND YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU WERE REHIRED WITHIN A YEAR TO THE SAME OR SIMILAR POSITION AT THE SAME OR SIMILAR SALARY PLEASE CONTACT US AS SOON AS POSSIBLE EITHER BY EMAIL AT email@example.com OR BY TELEPHONE AT (866) 248-8744 OR (203) 325-4491 TO DISCUSS YOUR SITUATION.
If you believe that you are entitled to an economic damages award – whether or not you are in the group of class members who are a part of this initial batch of award letters – and have not already provided us with contact information, please contact us as soon as possible, either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (866) 248-8744 or (203) 325-4491 to provide us with contact information. You do not need to contact us again if you have previously spoken to or emailed us.
If you are an active state employee, please note that, in accordance with the Settlement Agreement (Section V.15.L), your economic damages award will be in the form of permanent SEBAC vacation time. Your award will be converted to such permanent vacation time at your current rate of pay and will appear on CORE by a special SEBAC vacation designation. Permanent SEBAC vacation days can be carried over without limit until you leave state employment and can be used at any time or can be saved until you leave employment. The value of those vacation days will increase as your pay rate increases. You will be paid for those vacation days at your then-current rate of pay when you use them (or redeem them upon leaving state service).
The Court presiding over the case conducted a hearing on October 1, 2015 and, after that hearing, approved the Settlement.
Under the Settlement, individuals who were employed by the State of Connecticut and a member of a bargaining unit (or designated for membership in a bargaining unit upon completion of a test period) as of November 17, 2002 are eligible for compensation.
While it was initially anticipated that class members would be receiving compensation within three months of the approval of the Settlement, the State has encountered unexpected and considerable delays in obtaining and processing the information required to establish class membership and necessary for calculating the economic losses for those class members who were laid off. Additionally, there have been further delays incurred in the process of negotiating and resolving terms related to finalizing those claims. We believe that the State is acting in good faith, and we appreciate your continuing patience as we work with the State to bring a successful resolution to class members’ claims.
What you should now expect (please look to see which of the following four numbered categories applies to you):
As indicated in the January 6 update above, certain class members who were rehired within a year may not receive award letters because there are special circumstances surrounding their layoffs which complicate the calculation of their damages. If you fall in that category, please be patient. Once the initial batch of award letters is sent, we will be assigning lawyers to reach out to you to review your circumstances and to develop appropriate offers for you.
If you were rehired within a year and believe that there are no special circumstances that apply to your layoff and do not receive an award letter this month it is likely that we have been unable to reach you. Please contact us as soon as possible, either by email at email@example.com or by telephone at (203) 325-4491 to provide us with contact information.
Finally, you should already have received an award for emotional distress damages. If you are still employed by the State of Connecticut, you should have received an award of ten vacation days and five personal leave days. If you are not still employed by the State, or if your job with the State is not eligible for vacation or personal leave, you should have received a payment of $750 (as the first half of a total award of $1,500) in October 2015 and a second payment in approximately October 2016. If you have not received either the vacation and personal leave credit (for active State employees) or one or both of the payments of $750 (for all others), and you have not already done so, please contact our office as soon as possible.
If you are in this category because you were laid off for more than one year, you will have to provide to the State information about any earnings that you received from any employment that you had in the period after your first twelve months of layoff. You should begin to collect that information now.
If you had to pay for health insurance (or had to pay health costs directly because you couldn’t afford health insurance), you should collect that information now as well.
If your commute to work was increased by more than 25 miles one way, or if you incurred other costs as a result of a job transfer, demotion or layoff, or you believe that there were any other special circumstances or losses relevant to your case, you should collect that information to share it with us when we receive the initial calculation from the State. If your commute to work was increased by more than 25 miles one way, but you did not otherwise suffer any decrease in your compensation, the State’s records will not reflect that you suffered any economic effect from the layoffs. If you have not already done so, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can alert the State to your circumstances.
Based on the information we get from you – and once we get the relevant information from the State – we will work with you to develop an offer to settle your claim which we will present to the State on your behalf. If the State agrees with that offer, it will accept the terms. If it does not agree, it can communicate a counteroffer to us. We will then attempt to negotiate the differences and, if we cannot resolve them, will present those differences to the Claims Administrator.
You also should already have received an award for emotional distress damages. If you were laid off and are still employed by the State of Connecticut, you should have received an award of ten vacation days and five personal leave days which should have been credited to you in January. If you are not still employed by the State, or if your job with the State is not eligible for vacation or personal leave, you should have received two payments of $750 (the first in October 2015, the second in October 2016).
If you were demoted, or suffered other forms of economic loss compensable under the Settlement Agreement, and you are still employed by the State of Connecticut, you will receive an award of four vacation days and three personal leave days. If you are not still employed by the State, or if your job with the State is not eligible for vacation or personal leave, you should have received two payments of $350 (the first in October 2015, the second in October 2016).
If you have not received either the vacation and personal leave credit (for active State employees) or one or both of the payments of $750 or $350 (for all others), or if you believe that any award you did receive did not accurately reflect the amounts to which you believe you are entitled, please contact our office as soon as possible if you have not already done so.
We will be reaching out to all retirees, but if you believe you were forced to retire by a layoff or layoff notice when you otherwise would have continued to work for the State – or even if you voluntarily retired after being laid off – please contact this office immediately to discuss your options.
If you did not suffer any economic loss and you are still employed by the State of Connecticut, you should have been credited with an additional 1.25 personal days in January. If you are still an active State employee and your job with the State is not eligible for personal leave credit, you should have received a check for $100.
If you believe that you are eligible for this $100 payment or for credit for an additional 1.25 personal days and did not receive it, please contact this office immediately.
* * *
There are many class members who will likely have questions about their entitlements. If you contact us in connection with this Settlement, please allow us a number of days to respond. Thank you.
To be a class member, you must have been employed by the State of Connecticut and a member of a bargaining unit (or, if you were under a working test period or training program, designated membership in a bargaining unit when you completed the test period) as of November 17, 2002.
We need to make sure that we have accurate information about each class member to make sure that you receive the proper award from the Settlement. The State will have the necessary records of each class member’s earnings and benefits while employed, but it is important that each class member look for relevant documents to establish what your earnings and benefits were either during any periods in which you were laid off or, if you were never rehired, at any other jobs you held after you were laid off. These documents could include tax returns, W-2 forms, pension statements and/or benefits statements.
If you were laid off, bumped, transferred or suffered some other adverse job consequence as a result of the layoffs, please click here to fill out the Class Member Questionnaire.
This section contains links to important documents about the lawsuit that are available for you to download.
If you have any other questions or otherwise want to contact us, please send an email with your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. If possible, we will try to respond by phone, so please make sure to provide a phone number where you can be reached during the daytime.
We represent individuals and businesses across Connecticut, including residents of the following communities: Bridgeport, Bristol, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, East Hartford, Enfield, Fairfield, Greenwich, Groton, Hamden, Hartford, Litchfield, Manchester, Meriden, Middletown, Milford, New Britain, New Canaan, New Haven, New London, New Milford, Newtown, Norwalk, Norwich, Ridgefield, Shelton, Southington, Stamford, Stratford, Tolland, Torrington, Trumbull, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Hartford, West Haven, Weston, Westport, Willimantic, Wilton and Windham.