Utne v. Home Depot, Inc. Case Website

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I get a postcard telling me about this lawsuit?
  2. What is this lawsuit about?
  3. What is a class action and who is involved?
  4. Why is this lawsuit a class action?
  5. What does the lawsuit complain about?
  6. How does Home Depot answer?
  7. Has the Court decided who is right?
  8. What is the Plaintiff asking for?
  9. Is there any money available now?
  10. How do I know if I am a class member?
  11. I’m still not sure if I am a class member.
  12. 12. What happens if I do nothing at all?
  13. Why would I ask to be excluded?
  14. What do I need to know about other cases alleging similar claims against the Defendant?
  15. How do I ask to be excluded from the Class?
  16. What if my address has changed?
  17. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
  18. How will the lawyers be paid?
  19. How and when will the Court decide who is right?
  20. Do I have to come to the trial?
  21. Will I get money after the trial?
  22. Are there more details about the lawsuit?
  1. Why did I get a postcard telling me about this lawsuit?

    Records show that you work or did work for Home Depot in an hourly-paid or non-exempt job position in California at some point on or after March 8, 2012. This website explains that the Court has allowed or “certified” a class action lawsuit that may affect you. You have legal rights and options that you may exercise before the Court holds a trial. The trial is to decide whether the claims being made against Home Depot on your behalf are correct. Judge Richard Seeborg of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California is overseeing this class action. The lawsuit is known as Utne v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., Civil Case No. 3:16-cv-01854-RS. 

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit was filed by John Utne (“Plaintiff”). The Plaintiff sued on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated persons employed by Home Depot in California since March 8, 2012. The Third Amended Complaint in the lawsuit alleges claims including a failure to pay proper hourly wages, failure to keep adequate records of all hours worked, and unfair business practices. Home Depot denies any liability or wrongdoing and contends it has complied with all applicable laws.

     

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  3. What is a class action and who is involved?

    In a “class action,” one or more persons called the “Named Plaintiff” (in this case, the Plaintiff listed above, John Utne) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a group of people with similar claims against the same companies (this group of people is referred to as the “Class” or “Class Members”). The companies sued (in this case Home Depot) are called the Defendants. One court resolves the issues for everyone in the Class—except for those people who choose to exclude themselves from the Class.

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  4. Why is this lawsuit a class action?

    The Court decided that this lawsuit can be tried as a class action because it meets the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. More information about why the Court is allowing this lawsuit to be a class action is in the Court’s Order Certifying the Class, which is available on this website on the Case Documents page

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  5. What does the lawsuit complain about?

    In the lawsuit, the Plaintiff says (1) that Home Depot failed to pay employees for time they spent under Home Depot’s control, at the start of their shifts, walking to the back of the store to put on their aprons before clocking in, and (2) that Home Depot failed to pay employees for time spent waiting off the clock to be released from stores locked after closing for business at night.

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  6. How does Home Depot answer?

    Home Depot denies that it did anything wrong. Home Depot says that it paid Class Members for all hours worked and provided tools to report unpaid time to Home Depot. Home Depot’s Answer to the Third Amended Class Action Complaint is also available on Class Counsel's website.

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  7. Has the Court decided who is right?

    The Court hasn’t decided whether Home Depot or the Plaintiff is right. By establishing the Class and issuing this Notice, the Court is not suggesting that the Plaintiff will win or lose at trial.

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  8. What is the Plaintiff asking for?

    The lawsuit seeks recovery of all unpaid wages, interest thereon, and statutory penalties, along with any other relief awardable and awarded by the Court.

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  9. Is there any money available now?

    No money or benefits are available now because the Court has not yet decided whether Home Depot did anything wrong, and the two sides have not settled the case. There is no guarantee that money or benefits ever will be obtained. If they are, you will be notified about how to ask for a share.

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  10. How do I know if I am a class member?

    The Court has defined the two classes as follows:

    Hourly Employee Class: All individuals employed by Home Depot in hourly-paid or non-exempt positions in California at any time since March 8, 2012.

    Lock-In Class: All individuals employed by Home Depot in hourly-paid or non-exempt positions in Home Depot stores in California at any time since March 8, 2012, and who worked at least one shift ending after the time that the Home Depot store was scheduled to close to the public for the evening.

    If you are a member of the Lock-In Class, you are also a member of the Hourly Employee Class. Some members of the Hourly Employee Class who did not work any shifts ending after the time the Home Depot store closed to the public for the evening may not be members of the Lock-In Class. The Hourly Employee Class and the Lock-In Class are referred to collectively as “the Class” in this case.

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  11. I’m still not sure if I am a class member.

    If you are still not sure whether you are a Class Member, you can ask for free help. You can call Class Counsel, the firm of Setareh Law Group, at (310) 888-7771.

     

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  12. 12. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    You don’t have to do anything now if you want to keep the possibility of getting money or benefits from this lawsuit. By doing nothing you are staying in the Class. If you stay in and the Plaintiff obtains money or benefits, either as a result of the trial or otherwise, you will be told how to obtain a share. If you do nothing now, regardless of whether the Plaintiff wins or loses, you will not be able to sue, or continue to sue, Home Depot—as part of any other lawsuit—about the claims that are the subject of this lawsuit. You will be bound by all Orders and judgments the Court makes in this class action.

    In addition, if you do not exclude yourself from this lawsuit, please be advised that the Plaintiff seeks to prove the claims of the Class by obtaining records about the wages paid to the Class, including wage payment records for the members of the Class that do not exclude themselves from this lawsuit.

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  13. Why would I ask to be excluded?

    If you already have your own lawsuit against Home Depot and want to continue with it, you need to ask to be excluded from the Class. If you exclude yourself from the Class—known as “opting out” of the Class—you won’t get any money or benefits from this lawsuit even if the Plaintiff obtains them as a result of the trial or otherwise between Home Depot and the Plaintiff.

    However, you may then be able to sue or continue to sue Home Depot for misconduct by Home Depot that occurred or occurs at any time. If you exclude yourself, you will not be legally bound by the Court’s judgments in this class action.

    If you start your own lawsuit against Home Depot after you exclude yourself, you’ll have to hire and pay your own lawyer for that lawsuit, and you’ll have to prove your claims. If you do exclude yourself so you can start or continue your own lawsuit against Home Depot, you should talk to your own lawyer soon, because your claims may be subject to a statute of limitations.

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  14. What do I need to know about other cases alleging similar claims against the Defendant?

    At this time, the Plaintiff is unaware of any similar lawsuits against Home Depot. 

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  15. How do I ask to be excluded from the Class?

    To exclude yourself (or to “opt out”) from the Class, you must submit a written statement requesting exclusion from the Class postmarked on or before November 27, 2018. Your request must contain your full name and any other names you may have used with Home Depot (e.g., if you changed your name following marriage or divorce), your home address, and your preferred telephone number (home or cell phone). You must mail your request for exclusion to: Home Depot Class Action Administrator at P.O. Box 404002, Louisville, KY 40233-4002

    Remember: It must be postmarked no later than November 27, 2018.

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  16. What if my address has changed?

    If the postcard was sent to you at your current address, you do not need to do anything further to receive any further notices concerning this case. If the postcard was forwarded by the postal service, or if it was otherwise sent to you at an address that is not current, or if you have changed your address, then you should immediately send a letter to the Notice Administrator stating your name and current address.

    The Notice Administrator’s address is:

    Home Depot Class Action

    Administrator

    P.O. Box 404002

    Louisville, KY 40233-4002

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  17. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court approved the law firm of Setareh Law Group as Class Counsel, meaning they are the lawyers representing you and all Class Members in this case. Setareh Law Group is located at 315 South Beverly Drive, Suite 315, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. You do not need to hire your own lawyer, but, if you wish, you may do so at your own expense. 

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  18. How will the lawyers be paid?

    If Class Counsel get money or benefits for the Class, they may ask the Court for fees and expenses. You won’t have to pay these fees and expenses personally. If the Court grants the request, fees and expenses would be either deducted from money obtained for the Class or paid separately by Home Depot. 

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  19. How and when will the Court decide who is right?

    As long as the case isn’t resolved before trial, Class Counsel will have to prove the claims at a trial. The trial date is not yet set. During the trial, a Jury or the Judge will hear all of the evidence to help them reach a decision about whether the Plaintiff or Defendant is right about the claims in the lawsuit. There is no guarantee that the Plaintiff will win or get any money for the Class.

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  20. Do I have to come to the trial?

    You do not need to attend the trial. Class Counsel will present the case for the Plaintiff, and Home Depot will present the defenses. You or your own lawyer are welcome to come at your own expense.

     

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  21. Will I get money after the trial?

    If the Plaintiff obtains money or benefits as a result of the trial or otherwise, you will be notified about that. There is no guarantee that the Plaintiff will win at trial or resolve the case.

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  22. Are there more details about the lawsuit?

    The Notice summarizes the current status of the lawsuit and your need to decide whether to remain a Class Member or exclude yourself. For a more detailed statement of the matters involved in the Action, you may refer to the pleadings and other papers filed in the Action, many of which may be inspected at the website of Class Counsel (www.setarehlaw.com). Any questions regarding the Notice and/or the lawsuit should be directed to your Class Counsel at:

    Shaun Setareh, Esq.

    H. Scott Leviant, Esq.

    Setareh Law Group

    9454 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 907

    Beverly Hills, CA 90212

    www.setarehlaw.com

    (310) 888-7771

    shaun@setarehlaw.com

    scott@setarehlaw.com

    Do not call the Court with questions about this Notice. If you do have questions or want more information, please contact Class Counsel (at the address, e-mail address, or number listed above), visit Class Counsel’s website.

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