This collective and class action lawsuit was filed on May 12, 2014 on behalf of correctional officers employed at various correctional facilities throughout the state of Nevada.
UPDATE March 2023
Final Approval of Settlement Granted by Court
Judge Du fully and finally approved the parties’ collective and class action settlement on March 20, 2023. A copy of Judge Du’s order granting final approval can be accessed here. Settlement payments are still scheduled to be mailed out to class members by May 15, 2023 in accordance with the court’s previous order granting preliminary approval of the settlement.
2nd UPDATE February 2023
Settlement Administration Notice Error
It has come to our attention that the settlement administration company in this case, Phoenix Settlement Administrators (“Phoenix”), has inadvertently mailed incorrect settlement notifications (“Notice”) to many class members. We are actively and aggressively investigating the size and scope of this issue with Phoenix.
- Did I receive an incorrect Notice? There is a reference number on the envelope that you received in the mail. There is also a reference number on the enclosed Notice that you received. If these two (2) reference numbers do not match, you received the wrong Notice and the information contained therein does not pertain to you.
- What should I do if I received an incorrect Notice? If the reference number located on the envelope does not match the reference number on the enclosed Notice, you should contact Phoenix immediately to notify them that you are one of the class members affected by the error. Please email Phoenix at email@example.com or call their toll free number at (800) 523-5773.
- When will I get my corrected Notice? You should request that Phoenix email you the corrected Notice as soon as possible. The best course of action is to email Phoenix at firstname.lastname@example.org to request the corrected Notice. Phoenix will also be sending you a corrected Notice in the mail that is scheduled to be distributed on Thursday February 16, 2023.
On behalf of our firm, I want to thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter. In over 20 years of class action litigation, we have not experienced this type of error before. We have insisted that the Settlement Administrator do everything possible to timely correct this mistake. If you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed in the corrected Notice, please present them to Phoenix, with email copy to our firm, so there is an official record of your statement. In the interest of impartiality and privacy, and as provided in the Settlement Agreement, only the Settlement Administrator can deal with such matters directly.
UPDATE February 2023
Notice Distribution & Claims Administrator Information
The Notice of Pendency of Collective and Class Action Settlement and Final Hearing Date was mailed out to class members on February 1, 2023. Further information regarding the terms of the settlement and a copy of the generic Notice can be accessed on the claims administrator’s website here. If you believe you are a class member and need to update your contact information in order to receive the notice and payment owed to you, you may contact the claims administrator to do so as follows:
Claims Administrator Email: Notice@phoenixclassaction.com
Claims Administrator Phone No.: (800) 523-5773
Claims Administrator Mailing Address:
Walden v State of Nevada Department of Corrections
c/o Phoenix Settlement Administrators
P.O. Box 7208
Orange, CA 92863
2nd UPDATE January 2023
New Notice Distribution Timeline
As a result of Defendant’s delay in getting the necessary information to the claims administrator, the court ordered the Notice deadlines to be extended and rescheduled the final approval date. The updated timeline is located within Judge Du’s January 11, 2023 order. Defendant’s new deadline to provide the class list to the claims administrator is January 25, 2023. Notices are scheduled to be mailed out to class members on February 1, 2023. Please note, the original deadline for settlement awards to be mailed to class members, as set by Judge Du’s December 1, 2022 preliminary approval order, remains unchanged and is currently still set for May 15, 2023.
UPDATE January 2023
Delay of Notice Distribution
The settlement implementation schedule located within Judge Du’s December 1, 2022 preliminary approval order has been delayed due to Defendant’s inability to produce the class list to the claims administrator within the timeframe set forth by the court. We will update this webpage as soon as we have a better estimate as to when notices will be distributed to class members.
UPDATE December 2022
Preliminary Approval of Settlement Granted by Court
Judge Du preliminarily approved the parties’ collective and class action settlement on December 1, 2022. A copy of Judge Du’s order granting preliminary approval can be accessed here.
UPDATE November 2022
Tentative Settlement Reached
The parties have reached a tentative settlement and have filed for preliminary approval of the settlement with Judge Du. A copy of the motion for preliminary approval can be accessed here.
UPDATE October 2021
Supreme Court Of Nevada Finds In Our Favor
State Of Nevada Can Be Held Liable For Failure To Pay Wages Pursuant To The FLSA
On September 14, 2021, the Supreme Court of Nevada submitted for decision without oral argument the question of whether the State of Nevada and an agency of the State (such as NDOC) has waived sovereign immunity/consented to damages liability for violations of the minimum wage provisions of the FLSA. Just two days later, the Court issued its Order holding that the State of Nevada can be held liable for failure to pay wages pursuant to the FLSA. The Court’s Order can be viewed here.
This is a victory for all public employees in Nevada, in particular, current or former Correctional Officers.
UPDATE July 2021
Case Background and Abbreviated Procedural History
In May of 2014, the initial class action complaint was filed in the First Judicial District Court of Nevada, alleging unpaid wages for Nevada Corrections Officers (“COs”). NDOC removed the case from state court to the federal U.S. District Court in June of 2014 based on federal question jurisdiction pursuant to the federal FLSA. The federal District Court granted conditional certification of the FLSA class, and Notice/Consent to Join forms were sent out in June 2015.
In early March of 2018, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Miranda Du dismissed the Nevada state law claims, without prejudice to reassert, on the grounds that COs must first exhaust administrative remedies but allowed the federal FLSA claims to proceed. The Case has been actively litigated since; many depositions have been taken, time and pay data has been exchanged, prison site visits have been conducted, hundreds of motions have been filed, and multiple hearings have been conducted.
In March of 2019, NDOC argued for the first time that they were immune from liability based on the sovereign immunity doctrine and appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit found in favor of the Plaintiff COs, rejecting NDOC’s sovereign immunity argument based on the fact that NDOC removed the case to federal court. You can view the oral argument here, and the Court’s decision can be accessed here.
In November of 2019, NDOC petitioned the Ninth Circuit for a rehearing of the sovereign immunity argument. In December 2019, the Ninth Circuit declined to rehear the arguments and affirmed its decision that the State of Nevada waived sovereign immunity when NDOC removed the case from state to federal court.
NDOC then filed an appeal of the Ninth Circuit’s decision to the Supreme Court of the United States. In November 2020, the Supreme Court denied certiorari because the question of state sovereign immunity is an issue for the Supreme Court of Nevada to decide. Judge Du then certified the question to the Supreme Court of Nevada, and the question of whether Nevada has waived sovereign immunity for wage claims pursuant to the federal FLSA has been fully briefed as of June 2021.