Wage Claim – Rejected!

Well I finally received a response to the wage claim I filed last month with the State of California Labor Commissioner’s office.  Below are scanned images of what I received and I imagine this is the same for most ex-Hellerites who filed.  

I’ve seen comments on other posts about this latest development – I think I and other readers would like feedback and comments from those who received the same response.  What are your next steps?




22 Responses to “Wage Claim – Rejected!”

  1. 1 hellerclerk 4 December 2008 at 12:08 pm

    I am wondering if some of the former employees were paid a bonus to hire the most inexperienced attorney they could find and initiate this lawsuit as a means of reducing the amount they’d be called upon to pay us. But, it is widely known in some circles that I am crazy, man, cuh-razy!

  2. 2 Former Associate 4 December 2008 at 7:19 pm

    I think it’s worth a letter to the labor department explaining why the class action is bad and that you will be opting out (e.g., filed before 30-day waiting time penalty period had expired).

  3. 3 Sa in San Diego 4 December 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Had you gotten the letter setting a conference date? What exactly did you claim for? Warn, unpaid vacation and late payment of final check? Or just unpaid vacation and late final check? I haven’t gotten this rejection letter (yet). I’ve gotten the letter setting a conference for December 19th. (I only claimed for unpaid vacation and late final check.) I’ve heard the some of the SF people have conferences set for December 18th.

  4. 4 Also in San Diego 4 December 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Yes, I think there are a few of us in San Diego who have conferences on the 19th. To date, I have not received any additional notice. Seems like they would cancel if they are not doing anything about the claim.

  5. 5 Former Associate 5 December 2008 at 3:27 pm

    What a fiasco that Nichols Kaster bunch are.

    We need comment here from someone with class action litigation experience. Can you file a notice of opt out in the class action lawsuit, and then submit that to the Dept. of Labor Standards as a basis for reviving your DLSE claim? I don’t know whether that works when the class has not yet been cerified in the NK suit.

  6. 6 Hellerclerk 6 December 2008 at 11:46 am


    We are weak little babies. We ought to have taken a more direct approach.

  7. 7 ExpostFacto 6 December 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Hellerclerk: I’m sure that some lawyer somewhere would have found some way to sue us for that.

    I’m kind of glad not to be working with lawyers anymore. Those who triggered this mess deserve the crappiest holiday ever.

  8. 8 anon2 6 December 2008 at 7:42 pm

    I’m thinking that NK will not get enough ex-Hellerites to join them so it will not get to a class action certification. So they will just be representing 3 people. When will DLSE figure that out?

  9. 9 Thomas MacEntee 7 December 2008 at 6:00 pm


    While the jury is still out on whether I want to – or should – work with attorneys as a means of deriving my income, I agree with you that certain people at Heller do deserve the crappiest of holidays.

    I think I’ll post the whereabouts of current ex-Heller shareholders so that we can send them a very special Christmas card letting them know how we’re doing. Thoughts?

  10. 10 GottaHaveFriends 7 December 2008 at 8:03 pm

    I have a wage claim conference meeting next week in Silicon Valley. I have not heard anything from them about my meeting being cancelled, so I plan on going. Does anyone else have a meeting set up next week, or have they gotten any notices?

    I only claimed the vacation time and penalties for same.

  11. 11 ExpostFacto 8 December 2008 at 2:49 am

    Please, do post what information you have, Thomas.

    I sit here feeling the toll that this stress is taking on my body. I’m shocked by the physical impact that this all has had on my health. And I have no health insurance now!

    I’ve been feeling on the verge of illness for the last few weeks. My knees started aching for no apparent reason in mid November. I’ve got a dull ache just below my rib cage on my right side. Every four or five days I wake up with a headache that lasts for hours.

    Every night I lie in bed with a feeling of unease to accompany me to a troubled sleep.

    It wouldn’t bother me so much if it was simply incompetence or the downward arc of the economy that had caused this. But the knowledge that this was ultimately brought about by a group of people who put their own well-being above the well-being of hundreds of others…That makes this so sad. Not to mention the apathy of the banks, to whom the government is handing billions of dollars.

    I really would like to send holiday greetings to those who seek profit for themselves at the cost of my mental and physical health. I don’t care in what direction your religious beliefs lie. These people have no business enjoying the upcoming holiday any more that Scrooge did before the visitation of of the spirits.

  12. 12 hellerclerk 8 December 2008 at 12:18 pm

    If we’d been sued, we’d have had impressive backup.


  13. 13 concerned 8 December 2008 at 4:28 pm

    I filed a wage claim with the DC Department of Labor. I have a hearing scheduled for December 23. The letter I received instructed that I call first to make sure that I need to appear for the hearing. I’ll post a comment once the date nears and/or I receive additional information.

  14. 14 Jeff Richmond 8 December 2008 at 11:23 pm

    The letter accompanying the notice mentions only WARN Act issues (“we believe the suit will address the remedies available under Labor Code Section 1400 et seq.” “the Labor Commissioner may revisit this issue and commence an investigation under the California Warn Act”). It doesn’t say anything at all about vacation pay or waiting time penalties, which I assume were part of the claim. It might be worth a call to see if they actually meant to punt on those issues too. It would also be interesting to know if anyone’s wage/vacation/waiting time claim has been expressly rejected. (I have heard nothing at all regarding my own.)

  15. 15 ex-HELLerite 9 December 2008 at 2:49 pm

    I have filed a Wage Claim with the D.C. Dept. of Empoyment Services and there is a conference scheduled for 12/23/08. Will keep everyone posted.

  16. 16 ErinG 9 December 2008 at 6:58 pm

    I have heard so much conflicting information about the Wage Claims filed with the DLSE that it makes me wonder if any of our unpaid accrued vacation time, waiting time claims or paid time under the WARN Act will ever be paid to us. Please post any news or outcome information after your upcoming hearing dates. We will all be waiting and holding our breath!! It would be an incredibly humane gesture if the firm’s “Bank” decided to pay monies owed in time to help with property taxes!

  17. 17 SV Wage Claimer 9 December 2008 at 7:07 pm

    I have a wage claim hearing in San Jose on 12/18. I know of two other ex-Hellerites that do too. We only claimed vacation time and penalties for same.

  18. 18 News Elf 10 December 2008 at 3:07 am

    By “conferences” do you mean hearings/meetings with representatives from the DOL, or all y’all referring to strategy powwows among ex-Hellerites? ‘Cause if it’s the latter, I’d like to know more about them – when they are and where in the various cities so I can attend one. Haven’t heard anything about them over the grapevine myself.

  19. 19 Former Associate 10 December 2008 at 12:51 pm

    It’s the former. For those of us who have filed wage claims, and who weren’t rejected outright due to some orchestrations at the DOL, the first step in the claim process is a settlement-type conference at the DOL. The claimant is required to attend, on pain of having the claim dismissed if he fails to. The respondent, Heller, is not required to. If Heller does not attend, then the DOL will set a formal evidentiary hearing for some later date, at which you will present your case.

  20. 20 GottaHaveFriends 10 December 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Former Associate: After filing a claim, you are given a conference date. When you and a rep from Heller meet at the Labor Board to hopefully come to an agreement. After that, if no agreement, there is a hearing set to go before a judge.

    Expostfacto: I totally understand your feelings. Personally, I have some strange tooth pain appear. I went to the dentist who determined it was just stress. I get the pain about once or twice a day. How long can a toothache last. It’s been months now…………..

  21. 21 Anon West Coast 11 December 2008 at 9:23 pm

    I have a conference scheduled for 12/18 in San Jose. My claim only sought unpaid vacation and penalties.

  22. 22 GottaHaveFriends 17 December 2008 at 11:42 am

    anyone have their claim meeting at the Labor Board in San Jose yet. I have mine tomorrow morning. And I know four others who have one tomorrow as well. Just want to know if anyone has already gone, and if so, what happen?????

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