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HP and HPE Employment Lawsuits and Allegations - Pay

(Updated May 14, 2021.)

Make sure that every company you ever worked for has your current postal address. Even if not classified by the company as a "Retiree" or if long gone -- in case of pension plan changes, employment lawsuits, settlements, or other issues. (HP Inc. is the legal successor to companies bought by HP -- including Compaq and EDS. HPE is successor to companies it bought -- Cray, Nimble, etc.) Update address at former company

Employment suits move very slowly -- the class action concerning EDS/HP overtime was settled after nine years, 79 depositions, and 1.5 million pages of documents -- paying an average of $950 each.

See also Employment Lawsuits for discussions of: your ability to sue the company, references on employment law, and summary of HP and HPE employment lawsuits and allegations.


2016 HP/HPE-Australia retroactive pay plan cap allegations. Ongoing.  [Added Mar 20, 2021.]

Feb 25, 2021: Ruling by Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory: "...there was a contractual entitlement to payment of the incentive amount as calculated in accordance with the criteria established by the employer...  the contract contained an implied duty to act in good faith, which the employer breached in capping the payment of commission to Ms Subasic without prior notice to Ms Subasic and after she had performed the work which would have entitled her to the incentive payment in question.” CRN-Australia  

"...in 2007, HP reduced base pay for its sales team and made the removal of caps on incentive payments a positive incentive. ' The new sales plan rewards strong sales performance. By moving more money into variable pay, which unlike base pay, can be multiplied by the accelerator, higher payouts are possible for over-performers,' read an HP document explaining the base pay reductions. Sales staff were also told: ' HP has eliminated the use of pay plan caps under the new plan. However, there will be a management review process for exceptionally high performance.' " The Register


2016 HP/HPE California non-exempt employee pay allegations -- 2012-2017. Settled. [Added May 14, 2021.]

Dispute deadline was Oct 19, 2020. Checks sent in early 2021.

Primary allegation: Hourly, nonexempt employees in California were "...not provided with required meal breaks, and were not paid hourly and overtime wages for missed meal breaks and for time spent traveling between their homes and client worksites." (page 2 of 8/7/2020 Order)  [Additional vacation and floating holiday allegations were withdrawn.]

Applies to these people:
"All current and former non-exempt employees in the State of California employed by
HP or its subsidiaries between December 29, 2011 and October 31, 2015, by HPE between November 1, 2015 and September 30, 2017, or by HPI between November 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017,
excluding those who signed releases of claims and those who signed arbitration agreements with class action waivers.
" [boldface emphasis added]
(page 6 of 8/7/2020 Order)
[To be paid severance or a retirement incentive, you agreed not to sue the company. Details: HPAA page on employment lawsuits ]

Settlement payment amounts were determined by negotiation between plaintiff and defendant lawyers, assisted by a mediator:

- "Plaintiff assumed that class members did not receive a 30 minute meal break once every two weeks on average... Plaintiff's expert was able to calculate the Defendants' liability..."

- "Class members were required to drive their service trucks to and from work... should have been compensated for travel time in the trucks as they were under Defendants' control... Plaintiff's expert was able to calculate the Defendants'' liability..." 

- "Settlement Class Members will be paid on a pro rata basis based on their number of workweeks worked." [during the time period specified]  (pages 8, 9, 11 of 1/3/2020 Declaration by plaintiff attorney. )

Notification and payment process:

"On August 28, 2020, Counsel for Defendant provided Simpluris [the class action administrator] a mailing list containing the name, last known address, Social Security Number, and pertinent employment information during the Class Period for the Class Members."

The addresses were updated using the U.S. Postal Service National Change of Address database. Notices were sent via first class mail. Returns were researched using the Lexis-Nexis Accurint identity verification service. 95 notices were re-mailed. 9 were ultimately undeliverable. (11/16/2020 filing by Kincannon.)

We have a copy of the Class Action Notice that was mailed.  (Here are details of how the notices were mailed: Class Action Notice procedure )

"The notice process has now been completed... Of 1,383 notice packets, 95 were re-mailed to updated addresses and 9 were ultimately undeliverable. The administrator estimates that the average individual settlement payment will be $4,492.75, with a maximum payment of $6,032.36." (page 4 of 2/2/2021 Order.)

Members report that checks were sent in early 2021.

Details: Araiza v Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company et al. Santa Clara County [California] Superior Court. Case No: 16CV298621

To find a case on the Santa Clara County Superior Court website, you must start at the main public search portal and enter the case number, party name, or business name. https://portal.scscourt.org/search  To read the documents for a specific case, enter the case number and click "EVENTS"


2012 HP/HPE incentive compensation allegations. Settled in 2020.

"HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise will pay a $25 million settlement to salespeople who sued over messed up pay... Some people are getting several thousand dollars, and others are getting 'considerably' more... HP and HPE will also pay almost $1.2 million of the settlement in penalties to the State of California Labor & Workforce Development Agency." Business Insider, January 21, 2019.

Sep 5, 2020: HPE's most recent summary of this 2012 case: HPE SEC 10-Q filing for July 31, 2020  [Bold emphasis added for clarity.]

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 in the Superior Court of California, County of Orange. 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. The scheduled January 22, 2018 trial date was vacated following the parties’ notification to the court that they had reached a preliminary agreement to resolve the dispute. The parties subsequently finalized and executed a settlement agreement and, on May 9, 2018, plaintiff filed a motion seeking preliminary approval of the settlement. On July 2, 2018, the court issued an order granting preliminary approval of the settlement.

On December 21, 2018, the court issued an order granting final approval. A Qualified Settlement Fund has been fully funded and distributed to class members. On March 5, 2020, the Court signed an Amendment to Final Approval Order and Judgment, directing that the matter be closed.


2006-2013 EDS/HP overtime allegations. Some claims settled in 2016. Some claims decertified.

The 2006, 2007, and 2012 Cunningham, Steavens, and Salva cases  HP SEC 10-K filing for January 31, 2013 were settled after nine years, 79 depositions, and 1.5 million pages of documents -- paying an average of $950 each. Law360 article.

2016 HPE summary of the remaining 2009 and 2013 cases, as filed with the SEC on 12/15/16.SEC 10-K filing for October 31, 2016  [Bold emphasis added for clarity.]

"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."


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