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HP Employment Lawsuits

Updated May 31, 2018

Make sure that HP has your current mailing address. Even if long gone from HP. (Some have probably missed out on the 2015 EDS wage-and-hour settlement.)  http://www.hp.com/contacts 

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a helpful guide: "Understanding Employee Severance Agreements"

The legally-required Attachment A provided to those 40 or over covers many possible reasons for layoff: "Employees were selected for the reduction in force because the job they were performing will no longer continue, their skill set was not applicable to the Company’s or organization’s operations going forward, and/or other employees were viewed as better qualified because of past performance and competency evaluation, which may include skills, abilities, knowledge and experience."

Recent Waiver and General Release Agreements contain a >500-word paragraph which includes: "The parties further agree that this Agreement is intended to be strictly construed to provide for arbitration as the sole and exclusive means for resolution of all disputes hereunder to the fullest extent permitted by law... The parties expressly waive any entitlement to have such controversies decided by a court or a jury."

May 21, 2018:
"The Supreme Court ruled that companies can use arbitration clauses in employment contracts to prohibit workers from banding together to take legal action over workplace issues. ... The three consolidated cases decided Monday concerned charges that employers had underpaid their workers. The workers’ employment contracts required that they resolve such disputes in arbitration rather than court and, importantly, that they file their claims one by one."
New York Times
"Supreme Court Imposes Limits on Workers in Arbitration Cases. Ruling gives teeth to employment contracts drawn to minimize corporate exposure to public trials and class actions filed by employees."
Wall Street Journal

Employment suits generally move very slowly. The class action filed in 2006 concerning EDS/HP overtime was settled after nine years, 79 depositions, and 1.5 million pages of documents -- paying an average of $950 each to 2,700 people in 2015.

HPI/HPE age discrimination allegations  

Lawsuit. Eight former employees -- from CA, DC, IL, TX, WA, and VA; some of whom did not sign the Waiver and General Release Agreement required to receive severance -- have filed a class action suit accusing HPI and HPE of age discrimination in layoffs.

eWeek article   Original Complaint 08/18/16   First Amended complaint 12/19/16

HPI's most recent summary of this 2016 case SEC 10-K filing for January 31, 2018  [Large single paragraph broken into multiple paragraphs.]

"Forsyth, et al. vs. HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

"This is a purported class and collective action filed on August 18, 2016 in the United States District Court, Northern District of California, against HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise alleging the defendants violated the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, California public policy and the California Business and Professions Code by terminating older workers and replacing them with younger workers. Plaintiffs seek to certify a nationwide collective class action under the ADEA comprised of all U.S. residents employed by defendants who had their employment terminated pursuant to a workforce reduction (“WFR”) plan on or after May 23, 2012 and who were 40 years of age or older. Plaintiffs also seek to represent a Rule 23 class under California law comprised of all persons 40 years or older employed by defendants in the state of California and terminated pursuant to a WFR plan on or after May 23, 2012.

"Following a partial motion to dismiss, a motion to strike and a motion to compel arbitration that the defendants filed in November 2016, the plaintiffs amended their complaint. New plaintiffs were added, but the plaintiffs agreed that the class period for the nationwide collective action should be shortened and now starts on December 9, 2014.

"On January 30, 2017, the defendants filed another partial motion to dismiss and motions to compel arbitration as to several of the plaintiffs.

"On March 20, 2017, the defendants filed additional motions to compel arbitration as to a number of the opt-in plaintiffs.

"On September 20, 2017, the Court granted the motions to compel arbitration as to the plaintiffs and opt-ins who signed WFR release agreements ( 17 individuals), and also stayed the entire case until the arbitrations are completed.

"On November 30, 2017, three named plaintiffs and twelve opt-in plaintiffs filed a single arbitration demand.

"On December 22, 2017, the defendants filed a motion to (1) stay the case pending arbitrations and (2) enjoin the demanded arbitration and require each plaintiff to file a separate arbitration demand.

"On February 6, 2018, the Court granted the motion to stay and denied the motion to enjoin."

Summary of February 6 ruling on tech news site The Register

HPI/HPE incentive compensation allegations

HPE's most recent summary of this 2012 case: SEC 10-K filing for October 31, 2017

"Wall v. Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Company and HP Inc.

"This certified California class action and Private Attorney General Act action was filed against Hewlett-Packard Company on January 17, 2012 and the fifth amended (and operative) complaint was filed against HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise on June 28, 2016. The complaint alleges that the defendants paid earned incentive compensation late and failed to timely pay final wages in violation of the California Labor Code. On August 9, 2016, the court ordered the class certified without prejudice to a future motion to amend or modify the class certification order or to decertify. Trial is set to begin on January 22, 2018." 

HPI/HPE race and age discrimination allegations

HPE's summary of this new case: SEC 10-K filing for October 31, 2017

"Jackson, et al. v. HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise:

"This putative nationwide class action was filed on July 24, 2017 in federal district court in San Jose. Plaintiffs purport to bring the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated African-Americans and individuals over the age of forty. Plaintiffs allege that defendants engaged in a pattern and practice of racial and age discrimination in lay-offs and promotions. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on September 29, 2017."

Register article   Original Complaint 07/24/17

EDS/HP overtime allegations

The Cunningham, Steavens, and Salva cases were settled after nine years, 79 depositions, and 1.5 million pages of documents -- paying an average of $950 each to 2,700 people in 2015. Law360 article.

HPE's most recent summary of the remaining cases, as filed with the SEC on 12/15/16.SEC 10-K filing for October 31, 2016  [Last status highlighted.]

"Fair Labor Standards Act Litigation. Hewlett Packard Enterprise is involved in several pre-Separation lawsuits in which the plaintiffs are seeking unpaid overtime compensation and other damages based on allegations that various employees of Electronic Data Systems Corporation ("EDS") or HP Inc. have been misclassified as exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the "FLSA") and/or in violation of the California Labor Code or other state laws. Those matters include the following:

- Karlbom, et al. v. Electronic Data Systems Corporation was a class action filed on March 16, 2009 in California Superior Court alleging that certain information technology employees allegedly involved in installing and/or maintaining computer software and hardware were misclassified as exempt employees. On October 30, 2015, plaintiffs filed a motion to certify a Rule 23 state class of all California-based EDS employees in the Infrastructure Associate, Infrastructure Analyst, Infrastructure Specialist, and Infrastructure Specialist Senior job codes from March 16, 2005 through October 31, 2009 who they claim were improperly classified as exempt from overtime under state law. On January 22, 2016, the court denied plaintiffs' motion for class certification. On April 8, 2016, plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the California Court of Appeal, which was later dismissed voluntarily. On October 3, 2016, the court dismissed this matter with prejudice pursuant to an agreed-upon settlement.

- Benedict v. Hewlett-Packard Company was a purported class and collective action filed on January 10, 2013 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California alleging that certain technical support employees allegedly involved in installing, maintaining and/or supporting computer software and/or hardware for HP Inc. were misclassified as exempt employees under the FLSA. The plaintiffs also alleged that HP Inc. violated California law by, among other things, allegedly improperly classifying these employees as exempt. On February 13, 2014, the court granted plaintiff's motion for conditional class certification. On May 7, 2015, plaintiff filed a motion to certify a Rule 23 state class of certain Technical Solutions Consultants in California, Massachusetts, and Colorado who they claim were improperly classified as exempt from overtime under state law. On July 30, 2015, the court dismissed the Technology Consultant and certain Field Technical Support Consultant opt-ins from the conditionally certified FLSA collective action. The court denied plaintiffs' motion for Rule 23 class certification on March 29, 2016. On April 12, 2016, plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal of that decision to the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit, which was denied. On July 13, 2016, the court granted HP’s motion to decertify the FLSA class that had been conditionally certified on February 13, 2014. Currently, only the claims of the three individual named plaintiffs remain in the district court."

HPE racial discrimination settlement

09/21/2016 Conway, Ark.

The US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced today that HP has agreed to pay $750,000 in back wages and interest to settle allegations of hiring discrimination. The action affects 504 qualified applicants – including 349 African Americans, one American Indian/Alaskan Native, 109 Asians, 44 Hispanics and one Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander – who the company rejected for Inside Sales Representative positions at its Conway location. Executive Order 11246 prohibits federal contractors such as HP from discriminating in employment based on race or national origin.

“This settlement reflects a mutual commitment between the US Labor Department and Hewlett-Packard to ensure that all workers have a fair shot at competing for good jobs,” said OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu. “Where hiring practices are barriers to equal opportunity, federal contractors have an obligation to break down those barriers and reform the process.”

After an investigation that included rigorous statistical analysis, employee and applicant interviews, and a review of information supplied by the company, OFCCP concluded that HP discriminated against qualified minorities who applied for inside sales representative positions between December 2008 and August 2010.

In its conciliation agreement with OFCCP, HP denies liability, but will pay back wages and interest to the affected class members. The company has also agreed to place 33 of the applicants into inside sales representative positions, with retroactive seniority for the new hires, as positions become available. HP will also undertake extensive measures to ensure that its personnel practices, including record keeping, comply with the law.



US Department of Labor data on H-1B and Green Card applications is available online for any company. http://www.hpalumni.org/H-1B

Questions or comments to: info@hpalumni.org

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