Rabin v. PwC Class Action
Settlement Website
Case No. 16-cv-02276-JST

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • The purpose of the notice is to let you know that the Parties in the case have reached a Settlement, subject to Court approval in the class and collective action known as Rabin v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Case No. 16-cv-02276-JST, pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (the “Lawsuit”).  You have received this notice because:

    1. You previously submitted a Consent to Join the Lawsuit; and/or
    2. PwC’s records show that you applied – but were not hired – for a full-time Associate, Experienced Associate, or Senior Associate position in PwC’s Tax or Assurance lines of service (“Covered Positions”) from September 8, 2013 through January 21, 2020 in California or Michigan, and it appears that you were age 40 or older at the time you applied; and/or
    3. PwC’s records indicate that you applied – but were not hired – for a Covered Position from September 8, 2013 through January 21, 2020, were living in California or Michigan at the time you applied to the Covered Position, and it appears that you were age 40 or older at the time you applied.

    The Court authorized that you be sent the notice because you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement of the Lawsuit, and about your options, before the Court decides whether to grant final approval of the Settlement.  If the Court approves it and after any objections and appeals are resolved, a third-party administrator appointed by the Court will make the payments that the Settlement allows.  You will be informed of the progress of the Settlement.  The notice provides you with instructions on the options available to you and how you can make a claim for payment under the Settlement Agreement.

  • In the Lawsuit, Plaintiffs allege that PwC discriminated against them and other applicants aged 40 and older on the basis of age when they applied for Covered Positions.  The Lawsuit asked the Court to require PwC to pay damages, penalties, and other compensation.  The Lawsuit also sought to compel PwC to change its policies and procedures so that the alleged conduct does not happen in the future.

    PwC denies these allegations and asserts that its hiring policies are lawful, merit-based, and have nothing to do with age.

  • In a class or collective action, one or more people, called “Class Representatives” (in this case, Steve Rabin and John Chapman) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims.

    In a class action, all people with similar class claims are called “class members.”  Class members do not need to do anything to be part of a class action.  Once the Court decides that a case can proceed as a class action (as the Court here has done for purposes of this Settlement), all class members are included in the class by default, except for those who exclude themselves (excluding is described in sections 13-15, below).  In a class action, the court resolves the issues for all class members together in one legal proceeding.  Class Members for purposes of this Settlement is defined in section 5, below.

    Collective actions are similar to class actions.  Some cases, like this one, have a class action component and a collective action component.  Here, the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act claim is brought as a collective action.  The “Collective Members” in this Settlement are the applicants to a full-time Associate, Experienced Associate, or Senior Associate position in PwC’s Tax or Assurance lines of service between October 18, 2013 and January 21, 2020 who submitted a Consent to Join form through January 21, 2020.

    The Honorable Jon S. Tigar, United States District Judge, is presiding over this class and collective action.

  • The Court did not decide in favor of either party.  Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement, which, if approved, brings the Lawsuit to an end.  That way, Plaintiffs and PwC avoid the cost, delay, and uncertainty of moving forward in litigation to trial and possible appeals, and the Class Members and Collective Members can get compensation.  The Class Representatives and their attorneys (“Class Counsel”) believe that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, adequate and in the best interests of the Class Members and Collective Members.

  • The Settlement provides benefits to the Collective Members and Class Members.

    The Collective Members (also referred to as the “Settlement Collective” here and in the Settlement Agreement) are those applicants to a full-time Associate, Experienced Associate, or Senior Associate position in PwC’s Tax or Assurance lines of service between October 18, 2013 and January 21, 2020 who submitted a Consent to Join form through January 21, 2020.

    The Class Members (also referred to as the “Settlement Class” here and in the Settlement Agreement) are (1) applicants who, between September 8, 2013 through January 21, 2020, applied for and were denied a full-time Associate, Experienced Associate, and Senior Associate position in PwC’s Tax or Assurance lines of service (the “Covered Positions”) in California or Michigan, and were aged 40 or older at the time of application; and/or (2) applicants who, between September 8, 2013 through January 21, 2020, were living in California or Michigan at the time they applied to a Covered Position, were denied, and were aged 40 or older at the time of their application.

    Together, these individuals are referred to as the “Covered Individuals.”

  • Monetary relief.  PwC has agreed to pay $11,625,000 to cover the claims of Covered Individuals.  Each Covered Individual who timely files a completed, valid Claim Form (called a “Claimant”), as set forth in section 8, below, will get a share of the $11,625,000 amount.

    Claimants will receive money from the Settlement fund based on Class Counsel’s evaluation of the strength of their age discrimination claims.  Specifically, Claimants who are Class Members but not Collective Members will begin with 1 point (Category 1), those who are Collective Members but are not Class Members will begin with 1.5 points (Category 2), and those who are both Class Members and Collective Members will begin with 2 points (Category 3).

    The Settlement Administrator, at Class Counsel’s direction, will apply the following multipliers to each Claimant’s point allocation:  (1) anyone who received an in-person interview with PwC, as reflected in PwC’s records, will receive a 10x multiplier, and (2) anyone who is not eligible for that multiplier (in categories 1, 2, and 3) will be eligible for a multiplier of 0x, 1x, 2x, or 3x, based on the information they provide in their Claim Form (i.e., college GPA, college degree information, CPA license, and work experience), to be determined by the Settlement Administrator in its sole discretion, as advised by Class Counsel.  Each Claimant will receive a check for their share of the Settlement fund based on how many points they are awarded.  A Claimant with 0 points will receive the default award amount of $200.

    Policy initiatives at PwC going forward.  In addition to the monetary relief, for a two‑year period, PwC has agreed to implement or continue to enhance several policy initiatives, including the following:

    · Postings.  PwC shall advertise directly to older populations of potential job applicants.  As part of this initiative, PwC will consider recommendations from Class Counsel.

    · Graduation date.  PwC agrees, for Covered Positions, not to ask pre-offer applicants who have graduated for their graduation date, and not to have eligibility limits based on graduation year (except where that graduation date is in the future) or age.

    · Non-discrimination policy.  PwC shall include age as one aspect of PwC’s non-discrimination policy in official notifications of that policy.

    · Alumni applicants.  PwC shall permit graduates of a school to apply to Covered Positions at that school. As part of this initiative, PwC will inform the schools at which it actively recruits for Covered Positions that such “Campus-Track” positions are open to alumni.

    · Complaint procedure.  PwC’s complaint procedure shall cover complaints of age discrimination.

                There will be a neutral Implementation Expert (as defined in the Settlement Agreement) selected by the parties who will meet with PwC’s Chief Purpose & Inclusion Office on an annual basis after the approval of the Settlement.  The Implementation Expert will advise PwC on some of the changes described above.

    Tax treatment of awards.  The Settlement Agreement allocates how payments made to you under this Settlement should be treated for tax purposes.  Accordingly, payments to Claimants are allocated for tax purposes as follows: thirty-three percent (33%) of all payments to Claimants will be allocated as wages, and normal payroll taxes and withholdings will be deducted from this portion of these monetary payments pursuant to applicable law.  This portion of monetary payments will be reported on an IRS Form W-2.  The remaining sixty-seven percent (67%) will be allocated as liquidated damages and/or emotional distress, and interest and will be reported on an IRS form 1099.  You will be responsible for correctly reporting this for tax purposes and for paying any taxes on the amounts received.  You will be responsible for the tax obligations and consequences of all payments received from the Settlement.  PwC, Defendant’s Counsel, and Class Counsel are not providing tax advice to you, and they make no representations regarding the tax characterization of any Settlement payments or any tax obligations of, or tax consequences to, any Claimant.

    Unclaimed funds.  Any unclaimed funds will be distributed as follows: (1) if the remainder is greater than $30,000, the remainder will be redistributed to the Claimants on a pro rata basis, except that no claimant will receive less than $50 through this redistribution (anyone whose redistribution payment would equal less than $50 shall receive no redistribution payment, and their share of the redistribution shall be allocated to the other claimants); (2) if not, the remainder will be given as a cy pres donation to the nonprofit Experience Works, which helps older adults with job training, volunteerism, and employment.

  • Each Claimant will receive some money, depending on a score assigned to his or her Claim Form by the Settlement Administrator, with input from Class Counsel, according to the listed factors and any instructions by the Court, and subject to the relevant tax withholdings as set forth above in section 6 and in the Settlement Agreement at section 7.5.

  • To receive money from this Settlement, you must submit a completed Claim Form either (a) via www.PwCApplicantCase.com by clicking here, (b) to Info@PwCApplicantCase.com, (c) to P.O. Box 91209, Seattle, WA 98111, or (d) by fax to (855) 423-1501.  When filing a Claim Form, please use the Claimant ID and Verification Number printed in your Notice.  If you do not sign and submit a fully completed Claim Form by December 22, 2020, you will receive no money from this Settlement.  In order to be deemed “complete,” your Claim Form must include answers to all questions.  You must include your Social Security number (for tax reporting purposes) and also sign the certification at the end of the Claim Form.

    To be valid, Claim Forms must be postmarked or received by December 22, 2020.

    Please include your Claimant ID on any correspondence sent to the Settlement Administrator.

  • The terms and conditions of this Settlement are subject to Court approval.  The Court will hold a hearing on January 27, 2021, to decide whether to approve the Settlement.  If Judge Tigar approves the Settlement, and there are no appeals, we estimate that checks will be mailed around April 2020.  However, because it is always possible for there to be unexpected delays or appeals, the payments may be delayed by a year or more, or an appeals court may determine that the payments cannot be made.  If the Court does not approve the Settlement, no payment will be distributed to any individual, the entire Settlement will be void and unenforceable, and the Parties shall be restored to the status quo ante, that is, their respective positions that existed in this lawsuit prior to entering into this Settlement Agreement.

    The Settlement Administrator will provide regular updates of the status of the Settlement at this website.  If your contact information changes, please inform the Settlement Administrator.

  •      Release.  Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you are staying in the Settlement Class and/or Settlement Collective, and that means that you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against PwC about the legal issues resolved by this Settlement.  It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you.  If you do not exclude yourself, you are knowingly and voluntarily releasing and waiving the following claims against PwC: any claims against PwC (and the Released Parties as defined in the Settlement Agreement) up until January 21, 2020, including but not limited to all known and unknown claims, promises, causes of action, or similar rights of any kind that they presently have or may have for discrimination because of age arising out of or relating in any way to any of the legal, factual, or other allegations made in the Litigation, or any legal theories that could have been raised based on the allegations in the First Amended Complaint, including, without limitation, claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”) (except that Covered Individuals who are Settlement Class Members but not Settlement Collective Members and who do not submit Claim Forms will not release their federal ADEA claims) and parallel state or local laws.  In addition, if you submit the Claim Form, you are bound by the Reserve Fund process set forth below and in section 10 of the Settlement Agreement for certain claims that may arise in the future.

         Your rights to pursue certain future claims outside of this Settlement administration process.  A Reserve Fund of $300,000 will be set aside from the Settlement fund to compensate for certain claims that may arise within the 15-month period following finality.  A Claimant is eligible to participate in this Reserve Fund process if the Claimant can demonstrate that, during the 15-month period after the Settlement becomes final, they applied in good faith to PwC to a Covered Position for which they were qualified, they were not hired during that period, and they believe that PwC’s failure to hire them was due to age discrimination.  To petition for a share of the Reserve Fund, the Claimant must contact Class Counsel within two months after the reserve period ends and provide evidence regarding their application and qualifications to determine whether they are eligible for a payment.  Information about the Reserve Fund and how to petition for a share will be provided at this website during and after the reserve period.  If you timely submit a completed Claim Form, the Reserve Fund process (described in detail in § 10 of the Settlement Agreement) will be your sole remedy for any age discrimination-related claims related to any applications to Covered Positions submitted during the 15-month period after the Settlement Agreement becomes final.  This means that you waive your right to file against PwC or any of the Released Parties a lawsuit, an administrative charge with the EEOC or state/local agencies, or an arbitration demand, asserting claims of discrimination on the basis of age and/or claims of retaliation for raising claims of discrimination on the basis of age, relating to any applications to Covered Positions submitted during the 15-month period after the Settlement Agreement becomes final.

     
  • A Reserve Fund of $300,000 has been set aside from the Settlement Fund. The Reserve Fund is available to compensate eligible Claimants who submitted applications to PwC for the positions at issue in the lawsuit between March 10, 2021 and June 10, 2022 who believe they were not hired by PwC due to age discrimination. Because the Reserve Fund involves claims arising after the Court finally approved the Settlement, eligible Claimants must submit a Reserve Fund Claim Form to petition for a share of the Reserve Fund. 

  • A Claimant is eligible to participate in the Reserve Fund process if the Claimant can demonstrate that, during the period March 10, 2021 through June 10, 2022, they applied in good faith to PwC to a Covered Position for which they were qualified, they were not hired during that period, and they believe that PwC's failure to hire them was due at least in part to age discrimination. 

    • "Claimant" means a Settlement Class or Collective Member who did not previously exclude themselves from the Settlement and who properly submitted a completed Claim Form before the Court-ordered claim deadline of December 22, 2020. All Claimants were mailed Settlement Check(s) in April 2021. If you want to confirm whether you are a Claimant, please contact JND Legal Administration using the information provided below. 
    • "Covered Position" means full-time Associate, Experienced Associate, and Senior Associate positions in PwC's Tax and Assurance lines of service. 
  • To petition for a share of the Reserve Fund, you must properly submit a completed Reserve Fund Claim Form to Class Counsel c/o JND on or before September 10, 2022 and provide evidence regarding your application and qualifications. 

  • Class Counsel will assess the merit of each Reserve Fund Claim and will allocate an award of $0 to $10,000 in damages to the petitioning Claimant. Class Counsel's decisions are final and unappealable. 

  • You can submit a Reserve Fund Claim Form by email to info@PwCApplicantCase.com. You can also mail or fax a Reserve Fund Claim Form to Class Counsel c/o JND Legal Administration using the information below:

    Mail
    Rabin v. PwC Settlement Administrator
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 91209
    Seattle, WA 98111

    Fax
    1-855-423-1501

    Important: It is highly encouraged that you contact JND Legal Administration after submitting your Reserve Fund Claim Form to confirm receipt. Class Counsel and JND Legal Administration are not responsible for any Reserve Claim Forms for which they cannot confirm receipt, and such claims will not be reviewed or paid. 

  • If you are a Claimant, the Settlement provides that the Reserve Fund process is your sole remedy for any age discrimination-related claims related to any applications to Covered Positions submitted during the period March 10, 2021 through June 10, 2022. This means that Claimants have already waived their right to file against PwC or any of the Released Parties a lawsuit, an administrative charge with the EEOC or state/local agencies, or an arbitration demand, asserting claims of discrimination on the basis of age and/or claims of retaliation for raising claims of discrimination on the basis of age, relating to any applications to Covered Positions submitted during the period March 10, 2021 through June 10, 2022. This release is binding regardless of whether you choose to submit a Reserve Fund Claim Form

  • Class Counsel will review all Reserve Fund Claims during Fall 2022. Class Counsel expects to make payments of Reserve Fund Claims, if any, during Winter 2022-2023. This page will be updated as the process is completed. 

  • If you would like more information about the Reserve Fund process, you may contact JND Legal Administration by email at info@PwCApplicantCase.com or by phone toll-free at 1-877-545-0239. Please mention that you are calling about the PwC Reserve Fund process when you call. 

  • The Court appointed the following attorneys to represent you and the other Settlement Class and/or Settlement Collective Members:  Adam Klein, Jahan Sagafi, Melissa Stewart, Daniel Stromberg, Lucy Bansal, and Iris Mattes of Outten & Golden, LLP; Daniel Kohrman, Laurie McCann, and Dara Smith of AARP Foundation Litigation; and Jennifer Liu of The Liu Law Firm, P.C.

    Together, these lawyers are called Class Counsel or Plaintiffs’ Counsel.  You will not be personally charged for these lawyers’ work in securing the Settlement benefits for you and the other Settlement Class and/or Settlement Collective Members.  If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

  • Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees of up to 40 percent of the $11,625,000 Settlement fund and reimbursement of out-of-pocket costs of up to $295,000, consistent with the terms of the Settlement Agreement.  In addition, Class Counsel will apply to the Court for a service award of up to $20,000 each for the two Class Representatives Steve Rabin and John Chapman (for a total of $40,000) and $2,000 each for the 28 Declarants (as defined in the Settlement Agreement) who provided sworn declarations in support of the Plaintiffs’ claims (for a total of $56,000).  These service awards are being requested in recognition of the time and effort incurred by the two Representatives and the Declarants in securing the benefits of this Settlement for you and the other Settlement Class and/or Settlement Collective Members.  The Court will decide whether to approve Class Counsel’s, the Class Representatives’, and the Declarants’ requests.

  • If you want to preserve your right to sue PwC on your own about the legal issues in this case, then you need to take steps to get out.  This is called excluding yourself from—or opting out of—the Settlement.

  • To exclude yourself from (opt out of) the Settlement and not release any claims, you must send a letter saying that you want to be excluded from the Settlement, and that you understand that you will not receive money from it.  You must include your (1) name, (2) signature, and (3) a statement that you wish to be excluded from the settlement, such as: “I decline to provide a release of claims and instead elect to exclude myself from the monetary relief provisions in the Settlement in Rabin v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.  That means I will not be entitled to any money from the Settlement.”

    Your opt-out request must be received or postmarked by December 22, 2020.  Opt-out requests should be sent electronically, by mail, or by fax to the Settlement Administrator, whose contact information is listed in section 23.

    If you ask to be excluded, you will not get any Settlement payment, and you cannot object to the Settlement.  You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit, and the Settlement would not affect any right you might have, if any, to pursue legal action against PwC on your own.

  • No.  If you exclude yourself, you will not receive money.  You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this Lawsuit.

  • You can tell the Court what you think about the Settlement.

  • If you are a Settlement Class or Settlement Collective Member, you can object to the Settlement. 

    The Court cannot order a larger (or smaller, or otherwise different) settlement; it can only approve or deny the Settlement.  If the Court denies approval, there will be no settlement at this time, no Settlement payments will be sent out, and the Lawsuit will continue. 

    Any objection to the proposed Settlement must be signed and in writing.  Your statement must contain your name, the legal and factual basis for the objection, and whether it applies to you, a specific subgroup, or the entire Settlement Class and/or Collective.  If you do not follow these instructions to make an objection, you will waive any objections and will be foreclosed from making any objection (whether by appeal or otherwise) to the Settlement.  If you file a timely written objection, you may, but are not required to, appear at the Final Approval Hearing, either in person or through your own attorney.  If you appear through your own attorney, you are responsible for hiring and paying that attorney.  All written comments and objections and supporting papers must (a) clearly identify the case name and number (as Rabin v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Case No. 16-cv-02276-JST), (b) be submitted to the Court either by mailing them to the Class Action Clerk, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612, or by filing them in person at any location of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and (c) be filed or postmarked on or before December 22, 2020.

  • Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement.  You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Class or Settlement Collective.  Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class to preserve your right to assert these claims in another lawsuit.  If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because you are out of the Settlement Class or Settlement Collective, so the case no longer affects you.

  • The Court will hold a final approval hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement.  You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you do not have to.

  • The Court will hold a final approval hearing at 2:00 p.m. on January 27, 2021, at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612, in Courtroom Six on the Second Floor, before the Honorable Tigar, United States District Judge.  At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate.  If there are objections, the Court will consider them.  Judge Tigar will listen to people who wish to speak at the hearing, if any.  The Court may also decide how much to pay Class Counsel and the Representatives.  After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement.  We do not know how long these decisions will take.  The final approval hearing may be postponed without further notice to the Settlement Class or Settlement Collective.  If you plan to attend the hearing, you should check this website or the Court’s PACER site at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov to confirm that the date has not been changed.

  • No.  Unless you opt out of the Settlement, Class Counsel will represent you and will answer any questions Judge Tigar may have.  But you are welcome to come at your own expense.  If you send a comment (including an objection), you do not have to come to Court to talk about it.  As long as you submitted it on time, the Court will consider it.  You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it’s not necessary.

  • You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the fairness hearing.  To do so, you must send a letter to the Class Action Clerk at the address listed in section 17, saying that it is your “Notice of Intention to Appear at the Final Approval Hearing in Rabin v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Case No. 16-cv-02276-.”  You must include your name, address, telephone number, and signature.  Your Notice of Intention to Appear must be postmarked or emailed no later than December 22, 2020.  This requirement may be excused upon a showing of good cause.

    You cannot speak at the hearing if you excluded yourself, because the case no longer affects you.

  • If you do nothing, you’ll get no money from this Settlement.  But, unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against PwC for the claims you are releasing in this Settlement.  Doing nothing will not affect your right to assert claims against PwC arising after January 21, 2020.

  • This Notice is intended to be a summary of the terms of the Settlement.  The Collective And Class Action Settlement And Release, First Amended Complaint, and this Notice are all available at this website.

    You may also obtain this information by contacting the Settlement Administrator at (877) 545-0239, Class Counsel at Outten & Golden LLP at (415) 638-8800, by accessing the Court docket in this case through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov, or by visiting the office of the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California at 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays.

    PLEASE DO NOT TELEPHONE THE COURT OR THE COURT CLERK’S OFFICE TO INQUIRE ABOUT THIS SETTLEMENT OR THE CLAIM PROCESS.

    By order of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail

Rabin v. PricewaterhouseCoopers Settlement Administrator
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 91209
Seattle, WA 98111