Kirchoff v. Big River Restaurants
Kirchoff v. Big River Restaurants Settlement Administrator

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • Big River's records indicate that you worked as an AM at an Applebee's, IHOP, Pizza Hut, or Taco Bell restaurant operated by Big River between May 1, 2015 and May 1, 2018. The Arbitrator ordered that you be sent a notice because you have a right to know about a collective action settlement, and about all of your options.

  • This Arbitration is about whether Big River misclassified AMs as exempt from federal overtime law and thereby improperly denied them overtime pay. Big River denies it did anything wrong and continues to believe AMs have always been properly classified as exempt from overtime laws.

  • In a "Collective Action", one or more people sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. However, other AMs who have similar claims do not become part of the Collective Action unless they opt into the Collective Action. You may opt into the Collective Action part of this arbitration proceeding and become a "Collective Member" by signing and returning the claim form you received with your notice, or by filling out a claim form here.

  • The Arbitrator did not decide in favor of either party. Both sides believe they would have prevailed in this case, but there was no decision ruling in favor of either party. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, the risk of losing, and the delay of litigating or arbitrating and of potential appeals, and the eligible people will get compensation.

  • If you worked as an Assistant Manager at an Applebee's IHOP, Pizza Hut, or Taco Bell restaurant operated by Big River between May 1, 2015 and May 1, 2018, including as a Kitchen Manager, Front of House Manager, and/or Bar Manager, you may be entitled to a payment from this collective action settlement.

  • If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can ask for free help. You can contact the Settlement Administrator by calling them at their toll free phone number: (833) 843-2647.

  • Big River has agreed to pay up to a maximum of $900,000.00 to settle. This amount includes payments to Collective Members to be allocated among current and former AMs who qualify for a settlement payment based upon weeks worked in the AM role, payment to Counsel for attorneys' fees and costs, payment to the named Claimant for her service to the Collective, and the costs of administering the settlement.

  • Estimated shares of the settlement have been calculated using a formula approved by the Arbitrator. Your estimated share can be found on page four of your notice, or you can contact the Settlement Administrator at their toll free phone number: (833) 843-2647.

  • To get your payment, you must return a properly completed Claim Form by mail, email, or facsimile to the Settlement Administrator, or through this website by clicking here.

    If you return a properly completed Claim Form to the Settlement Administrator by the deadline, you will be sent settlement checks for your share of the settlement. You will then have 90 calendar days to negotiate your checks.

    If you fail to negotiate your checks within the 90 calendar day time period, the uncashed checks will become void and you will not receive a reissued check, but you will still be bound by the Release and arbitration agreement.

  • If you return a properly completed Claim Form to the Settlement Administrator by the deadline, you will be sent the first settlement check for a portion of your settlement payment within approximately six months of submitting your Claim Form. Under the settlement agreement, Big River is obligated to pay the settlement amount in 12 monthly installments, and Collective Members will be issued two checks. It is likely that your first payment will be sent after Big River makes its 6th payment and the second after it pays fully. Please be patient.

  • You will not become a member of the Collective Action unless you return a properly completed Claim Form by the deadline. Once you submit your Claim Form, you release Big River (including each of their officers, directors, employees, agents, insurers, successors, predecessors, affiliates, parents, subsidiaries, members, shareholders, attorneys, and other related entities) from any and all FLSA, state and local overtime claims that have accrued during your employment as an AM, for the time period of May 1, 2015 to October 3, 2018, including, without limitations, all state and federal claims for unpaid overtime wages, and related claims for penalties, interest, liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses. In addition, by submitting a claim form, all of the Arbitrator’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you. Further, submitting a Claim Form shall also result in your agreement to arbitrate before Hunter Hughes any wage and hour claims alleging you were misclassified as exempt during your employment as an AM. You may already have agreed to do so through a prior agreement with the company.

  • The Arbitrator has decided that the lawyers at the law firms of Outten & Golden LLP and the Shavitz Law Group, P.A. are qualified to represent you and all Collective Members. These lawyers are called “Claimants’ Counsel.” Unless you indicate otherwise, by submitting your Claim Form, you agree to be represented by Claimants’ Counsel.  You will not be charged for these lawyers. You do not need to retain your own attorney in order to participate as a Collective Member. If you do not choose to join the Collective Action and want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

  • The Arbitrator has approved payment to Claimants’ Counsel of one-third of the Settlement Amount for attorneys’ fees. These fees compensate Claimants’ Counsel for investigating the facts, arbitrating the case, and negotiating and finalizing the settlement. The Arbitrator has also approved payment of Claimants’ Counsel’s out-of-pocket costs. The cost of the settlement administrator are also paid from the settlement fund.

    The Arbitrator has approved a service award to the Claimant to recognize risks she took, the scope of the release she executed, and her service to the Collective. The Claimant who initiated the arbitration will receive a payment of $10,000 in addition to her settlement payment under the allocation formula.

  • These FAQ's summarize the notice. More details are in the Settlement Agreement, which can be found here. You can also request a copy of the Settlement Agreement by sending a request in writing to the Settlement Administrator:

    Kirchoff v. Big River Restaurants Settlement Administrator
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    PO Box 91209
    Seattle, WA 98111

    Facsimile: (877) 643-5120

    Email: Info@BigRiverAMSettlement.com

  • If you have other questions about the settlement, you can contact the Settlement Administrator or Claimants’ Counsel at the addresses and/or telephone numbers below.

    Justin M. Swartz
    Jared Goldman
    Outten & Golden LLP
    685 Third Avenue, 25th Floor
    New York, NY 10017
    Telephone: (212) 245-1000
    BigRiverAMSettlement@Outtengolden.com

    Gregg I. Shavitz
    Alan Quiles
    Shavitz Law Group, P.A.
    951 Yamato Road,
    Suite 285
    Boca Raton, FL 33431
    Tel: (800) 616-4000
    info@shavitzlaw.com

For More Information

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

Mail

Kirchoff v. Big River Restaurants
Settlement Administrator

c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91209
Seattle, WA 98111