NOTICE OF COLLECTIVE ACTION LAWSUIT
Judith Zissa, et al. v. The County of Los Angeles
Case No. 2:18-cv-10174-CJC-JDE
United States District Court, Central District of California
TO: All Children’s Social Workers and Children’s Social Worker Trainees who worked for the County of Los Angeles’ Department of Children and Family Services (“DCFS”) at any time from December 6, 2015, to the present.
RE: Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) lawsuit seeking alleged unpaid wages, including minimum wages and overtime compensation.
PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY. IT MAY AFFECT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.
The purpose of this Notice is to inform you of the existence of a collective action lawsuit in which the Court has conditionally determined that you are “similarly situated” to the named Plaintiff, Judith Zissa, to inform you of how your rights may be affected by this suit, and to instruct you on the procedure for participating in this suit, should you choose to do so. Please note that the Court has not ruled on the merits of the lawsuit. The Court has only ruled that Children’s Social Workers should receive notice of the existence of this collective action lawsuit so they can determine whether they wish to join.
Should you choose to opt-in to this lawsuit, you must return your completed form by December 30, 2019. You have not joined the lawsuit until you sign and return the “Opt-In Consent Form” to the claims administrator, and the form is filed with the Court. Forms postmarked or returned after December 30, 2019 may not be accepted by the Court in this litigation.
WHAT IS THIS CASE ABOUT?
This lawsuit is brought by Judith Zissa on behalf of current and former Children’s Social Workers and Children’s Social Worker Trainees, who worked for DCFS at any time from December 6, 2015 to the present.
This lawsuit was filed against the County of Los Angeles on December 6, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. This litigation alleges, among other things, that the County of Los Angeles’ current and former Children’s Social Workers:
- were not paid for all hours worked, including, without limitation, for time spent working off-the-clock before and after scheduled shifts;
- were not paid all wages owed to them, including straight-time and overtime pay for all hours worked; and
- that the County of Los Angeles failed to make, keep, and preserve required accurate records of all hours worked by the employees.
Plaintiff seeks to recover payment for all hours worked, including payment for unpaid straight time and overtime, and minimum wage violations, including interest thereon, statutory penalties and liquidated damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and litigation costs on behalf of herself and all similarly situated workers. The Court has conditionally certified the collective in this case in order to authorize notice of this lawsuit to be sent to all current and former employees who have been employed as a Children’s Social Worker and/or Children’s Social Worker Trainee during the time period of December 6, 2015 through the present. The County of Los Angeles denies all allegations in this lawsuit.
CAN I JOIN?
You can join this lawsuit if you are or were a Children’s Social Worker or Children’s Social Worker Trainee who worked for the County of Los Angeles’ DCFS at any time from December 6, 2015, to the present.
HOW DO I JOIN?
You may join, or “opt in” to, this lawsuit by submitting your “Opt-in Consent Form” to the Claims Administrator by: (1) emailing your completed “Opt-In Consent Form” to info@DCFSovertimelawsuit.com, or (2) mailing your completed “Opt-In Consent Form” to the Claims Administrator at the following address:
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES FLSA LITIGATION
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91336
Seattle, WA 98111
This form must be returned in sufficient time to have Plaintiff’s counsel file it with the federal court on or before December 30, 2019. If you fail to return the “Opt-In Consent Form” in time for it to be filed with the federal court on or before the above deadline, you may not be able to participate in these claims under the FLSA.
If you submit an “Opt-In Consent Form,” your continued right to participate in these FLSA claims may depend upon a later decision by the District Court as to whether or not you and the named Plaintiff are actually “similarly situated” in accordance with federal law.
A copy of this Notice and the “Opt-In Consent Form” are available clicking on Important Documents at the top of this page.
WHAT ARE MY LEGAL RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS IF I JOIN?
If you choose to join this suit, you will be bound by the judgment or settlement, whether it is favorable or unfavorable as to claims made in this action under the FLSA. The right to recovery for any plaintiff is not guaranteed or certain, and depends on the adjudication of the claim. If the employees win, you may get additional compensation. If they lose, you will get nothing. Joining the lawsuit does not guarantee that you will receive any compensation.
If you choose to join in the suit, you may be required, with the assistance of the Plaintiff’s lawyers, to respond to written questions, sit for depositions, and/or testify in court. Furthermore, you must preserve evidence relevant to your claims for unpaid wages such as notes or other documents reflecting your hours worked.
The attorneys for the Plaintiff are being paid on a contingency fee basis, which means that if there is no recovery, there will be no attorneys’ fees owed to Plaintiff’s counsel. You are not under any obligation to pay attorneys’ fees or costs by joining the lawsuit.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT JOIN?
If you choose not to join this suit, you will not be affected by any judgment or settlement rendered in this case, whether favorable or unfavorable. If you choose not to join in this lawsuit, you may file your own lawsuit.
NO RETALIATION PERMITTED
Federal law prohibits the County of Los Angeles from discharging, or in any other manner discriminating or retaliating against, you because you have exercised your rights under the FLSA to join this action.
WHO REPRESENTS THE EMPLOYEES?
The law firm of Schneider Wallace Cottrell and Konecky Wotkyns LLP will represent those who join the collective action. You may also consult with or retain an attorney of your choice. Counsel for the Named Plaintiff are:
Carolyn H. Cottrell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ori Edelstein (email@example.com)
Scott L. Gordon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
COTTRELL KONECKY WOTKYNS LLP
2000 Powell Street, Suite 1400
Emeryville, California 94608
Telephone: (415) 421-7100
Facsimile: (415) 421-7105
WHO REPRESENTS THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES?
If you wish to contact the County’s attorneys to ask questions or address any concerns you may have, they are:
Ronda D. Jamgotchian (email@example.com)
Paul Berkowitz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Michael T. Campbell (email@example.com)
Michaela R. Goldstein (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SHEPPARD MULLIN RICHTER & HAMPTON LLP
1901 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1600
Los Angeles, California 90067
Telephone: (310) 228-3700
Facsimile: (310) 228-3701
There is a two (2) year deadline for filing overtime claims or three (3) years if the violation is determined to be willful. This deadline has been equitably tolled (i.e., paused) by the Court only for persons that “opt-in” to this Collective Action. To ensure your claim is timely filed, return your “Opt-in Consent Form” as soon as possible if you wish to be included in this case.