HP Case Shows Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied
Six class members in the proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit accusing HP and Hewlett Packer Enterprise of age discrimination have died. Is this the best we can do?
On August 18, 2016, former workers at Hewlett Packer / Hewlett Packer Enterprises filed a class action lawsuit accusing the company of violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA).
The case, which was subsequently joined with a California case, has approximately 400 class members.
A settlement notice to end the litigation, technically in its 7th year, was recently filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and preliminarily approved by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila.
Six class members are not around to celebrate the “victory,” such as it is, because they have died.
In truth, the settlement is not much of a victory.
HP / HPE will pay $18 million into a common fund but does not admit to any wrongdoing.
According to the settlement agreement, class member will receive a minimum of $50,279 “inclusive of requested attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses, requested service awards and costs of administration).” When the fees and costs are included, it is estimated the parties will get “up to” $15,000.
Settlements like this encourage other corporations to engage in age discrimination because the costs of non-compliance are insignificant.
Hewlett Packard Enterprises is worth almost $20 billion. One can easily see what motivates HP / HPE to settle - $18 million is loose change.
Why Are Plaintiffs Settling For Such A Piddling Amount?
Considering that many class members were ousted from lucrative jobs many years before retirement age, the settlement represents a pittance. Why are the plaintiffs settling?
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