Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is this case about?
  2. Who is covered by the Settlement?
  3. What claims are resolved by the Settlement?
  4. What are the benefits of the Settlement?
  5. Who represents the Class?
  6. How much will Class Counsel be paid? What additional benefits will the Class Representative receive?
  7. What do I have to do to receive money from the Settlement?
  8. What rights am I giving up by participating in the Settlement?
  9. Can I exclude myself from the Settlement?
  10. Can ABM retaliate against me for participating in or excluding myself from the Settlement?
  11. What is the Settlement approval procedure?
  12. If I want to, how do I object to the Settlement?
  13. What will happen if the Settlement is approved?
  14. What if I do nothing?
  15. What if I need more information or a copy of the Claim Form?



1. What is this case about?

A class action is a lawsuit in which the claims and rights of many people are decided in a single court proceeding. Representative plaintiffs, also known as “class representatives,” assert claims on behalf of the entire class.

In this case, Plaintiff Cindy Simpson filed a lawsuit against ABM on September 24, 2010. Plaintiff claims that ABM failed to pay janitorial employees for all work time, failed to provide meal and rest periods, failed to pay wages due and owing at the time of termination, and/or engaged in unfair or deceptive acts or practices.

Plaintiff brought the suit to recover unpaid wages, prejudgment interest, and attorneys’ fees and costs, as well as various penalties on behalf of herself and similarly situated current and former ABM janitors.

ABM denied and continues to deny Plaintiff’s claims and contended that members of the Class were properly paid all wages and provided proper rest and meal breaks. ABM also contended that the Litigation was not suitable for class action treatment.

The Settlement is the result of arm’s-length negotiations between Plaintiff and ABM. Both sides agree that in light of the risks and expenses associated with continued litigation, this Settlement is fair and appropriate under the circumstances. Please be advised that the King County Superior Court has not ruled on the merits of Plaintiff’s claims or ABM’s defenses.

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2. Who is covered by the Settlement?

For settlement purposes, the King County Superior Court has certified the following class of current and former employees of ABM (the “Settlement Class”): All hourly-paid individuals who are or have been employed as a janitor by ABM in the State of Washington between October 12, 2005 and December 31, 2011 (the “Class Period”) and who are not included in the class action lawsuit entitled Khadera, et al. v. ABM Industries, Incorporated, et al., Case No. C08-0417 RSM.

The Settlement will cover all Class Members who did not exclude themselves. To receive any money pursuant to the Settlement, Class Members must have submitted a valid and timely Claim Form as set forth in Question 7 below.

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3. What claims are resolved by the Settlement?

The Settlement will resolve all of the claims that Class Members could have brought against ABM under Washington law regarding ABM’s alleged failure to pay for all hours worked, including overtime, failure to provide rest and meal breaks, failure to pay wages due and owing at the time of termination, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices.

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4. What are the benefits of the Settlement?

ABM will pay $1,000,000 for: (a) the valid and timely claims of Members of the Settlement Class; (b) Class Counsel’s fees and litigation costs; (c) an enhancement award to the named Plaintiff; and (d) the costs of administering the Settlement.

Each Class Member who submitted a valid and timely Claim Form will receive a Settlement Payment. The period used for calculating Settlement Payment shares is October 12, 2005 to December 31, 2011. The amount of the Settlement Payment will depend on the number of Pay Periods the Class Member worked during the Class Period and the average number of hours the Class Member worked per pay period.

The Settlement Payment to each Class Member will be allocated 50% of payment for non-wage penalties and interest and 50% of Settlement Payment as wages.

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5. Who represents the Class?

The Court has designated Plaintiff Cindy Simpson to represent the Class. Plaintiff Simpson worked as a janitor for ABM in Washington.

The Court has designated Beth E. Terrell, Toby J. Marshall, and Jennifer Rust Murray of the law firm of Terrell Marshall Daudt & Willie PLLC to act as Class Counsel. These attorneys represent the interests of the Plaintiff and Class Members.

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6. How much will Class Counsel be paid? What additional benefits will the Class Representative receive?

Class Counsel will ask the Court to award attorneys’ fees equal to $195,000 (19.5% of $1,000,000) and actual litigation costs in an amount expected to be approximately $50,000, including notice and claims administration costs.

Class Counsel will ask the Court to authorize an enhanced award to named Plaintiff Cindy Simpson in the amount of $5,000.

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7. What do I have to do to receive money from the Settlement?

Class Members must have submitted valid and timely Claim Forms in order to share in the settlement money. A personalized Claim Form was sent to Class Members along with the Class Notice.

Please verify that your contact information and dates of employment are correctly stated on the Claim Form.

To have been considered valid, your Claim Form must have been signed by you, must have included the last four digits of your social security number, and must have been postmarked no later than September 6, 2012.

ANY CLASS MEMBER WHO FAILED TO SUBMIT A VALID AND TIMELY CLAIM FORM WILL NOT RECEIVE A SHARE OF THE SETTLEMENT BUT WILL BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENT.

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8. What rights am I giving up by participating in the Settlement?

Upon final approval by the Court, the Settlement Class, and each Class Member who did not submit a valid and timely written request to be excluded from the Settlement, will release, to the extent permitted by law, Defendants ABM Industries Incorporated, ABM Janitorial Services – Northwest, Inc., and each of their present and former parent companies, subsidiaries, shareholders, officers, partners, directors, members, servants, employees, agents, attorneys, insurers, predecessors, representatives, accountants, past, present, and future, successors and assigns, and each and all of their respective officers, partners, directors, members, servants, agents, shareholders, employees, representatives, accountants, insurers, and attorneys, past, present, and future, and all persons acting under, by, through, or in concert with any of them, from any and all claims, debts, liabilities, demands, obligations, guarantees, costs, expenses, attorneys’ fees, damages, or causes of action which arise from the factual allegations and claims asserted in the Simpson Action including, without limitation, any and all claims for alleged wage and hour violations under Washington law, including claims under RCW 49.46.130, RCW 49.46.090, RCW 49.12.020, RCW 49.52.050, RCW 49.48.010, RCW 19.86, WAC 296-126-092, breach of unilateral written contracts, exemplary damages, penalties under Washington law, or any other benefit claimed on account of the allegations asserted in the Lawsuit arising from October 12, 2005 through December 31, 2011. Class Members who returned signed Claim Forms will also release any claims for alleged wage and hour violations arising under federal law, including claims under 29 U.S.C. § 207(a), relating to the allegations asserted in the Lawsuit arising from October 12, 2005 through December 31, 2011.

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9. Can I exclude myself from the Settlement?

If you do not want to participate in the Settlement, you must have submitted a written statement requesting exclusion from the Settlement (“Request for Exclusion”). In order to be valid, the Request for Exclusion must have been postmarked no later than August 20, 2012.

If you submitted a timely and valid Request for Exclusion, you will not be eligible to receive any of the benefits under the Settlement. You will, however, retain whatever legal rights you may have against ABM with regard to the Released Claims. If you submitted a timely valid Request for Exclusion and submitted a timely, valid Claim Form, the Claim Form will be honored and the Request for Exclusion will be void.

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10. Can ABM retaliate against me for participating in or excluding myself from the Settlement?

No. The law does not allow retaliation or discrimination by an employer against anyone who chooses to stay in or be excluded from a class action. This means that if you are still a current employee, ABM cannot fire you, reduce your workload, withhold pay or bonuses, or demote you for participating in this lawsuit or for excluding yourself from it. If you want to participate in the Settlement, ABM cannot make you exclude yourself or retaliate against you. Likewise, if you wanted to exclude yourself from the Settlement, your co-workers or manager could not make you participate in the Settlement.

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11. What is the Settlement approval procedure?

The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on September 14, 2012 at 9:00 a.m., to consider the fairness and adequacy of the proposed Settlement, the plan of distribution, Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and costs, including the costs of notice and claims administration, and the enhanced awards to the individual Plaintiff. The hearing will be held in Courtroom E-955 at the King County Courthouse located at 516 3rd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104-2386. The Final Approval Hearing may be continued without further notice. You are not required to attend this hearing.

If you excluded yourself from the Settlement by submitting a valid and timely Request for Exclusion, you are not entitled to comment on or object to the Settlement or be heard at the hearing.

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12. If I want to, how do I object to the Settlement?

The deadline to object to the Settlement was August 20, 2012.

If you submitted a timely objection, you may appear, either personally or through an attorney, at your own expense, at the final approval hearing, discussed below. Your objection should have clearly explained why you object to the proposed Settlement and must state whether you or someone on your behalf intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing.

Any member of the Class who did not object in the manner described above shall be deemed to have waived any objections, and shall forever be foreclosed from objecting to the fairness or adequacy of the proposed Settlement, the payment of attorneys’ fees, litigation costs, the enhancement award to the Plaintiff, the claims process, and any and all other aspects of the Settlement. If the Settlement is not approved by the Court, the Litigation will continue with a contested class certification motion, and possibly trial or other judicial resolution.

Regardless of whether you filed an objection, you must have submitted a timely and valid Claim Form in order to receive any proceeds under the Settlement.

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13. What will happen if the Settlement is approved?

If the Court approves the Settlement, the Independent Claims Administrator will mail checks to those Class Members who submitted valid and timely Claim Forms. If someone objects to or appeals from approval of the Settlement, payment will be delayed until all objections and appeals are resolved.

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14. What if I do nothing?

If you do nothing in response to the Class Notice, you will not receive any proceeds under the Settlement, and you will be deemed to have released all of the Released Claims against ABM.

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15. What if I need more information or a copy of the Claim Form?

More information regarding the lawsuit, the Class Notice, and your rights and options can be found on this website or by contacting the Independent Claims Administrator or Class Counsel. You also may review the Court’s files at the King County Superior Court Clerk’s Office, located at 516 3rd Avenue, Room E609, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Do not call the Court. If your address changes, or is different from the one on the envelope enclosing the Class Notice sent to you, please promptly notify the Independent Claims Administrator.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the claims administration process, please call the Independent Claims Administrator at: 1-877-735-7729

PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR WRITE THE COURT, ABM, OR ABM’S ATTORNEYS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

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Important Dates
DateDeadline
September 6, 2012
[Expired]
Claim Form Deadline
(postmarked)
August 20, 2012
[Expired]
Exclusion Deadline
(postmarked)
August 20, 2012
[Expired]
Objection Deadline
(postmarked)
September 14, 2012
at 9:00 a.m.
Final Approval Hearing

Your Options

  • To find out details regarding the Settlement, please consult the Notice