Byrne v. Santa Barbara Hospitality Services Settlement

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Am I being sued?
  2. What is this lawsuit about?
  3. Why is there a settlement?
  4. Who are the Defendants?
  5. How do I know if I am part of the settlement?
  6. What can I get from the settlement?
  7. Can I be retaliated against if I submit a claim?
  8. Do I have a lawyer in this settlement?
  9. How do I get more information?
  10. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?
  11. Do I have to come to the hearing?
  12. Can I speak at the hearing?
  13. How can I file a claim?
  14. How do I get out of the settlement?
  15. How do I tell the Court if I don’t like the settlement?
  16. What’s the difference between objecting and excluding?
  17. What happens if I do nothing?
  1. Am I being sued?

    No.

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    Plaintiffs contend that entertainers performing for customers at the adult clubs doing business as Spearmint Rhino, Blue Zebra, and Dames N Games, in the states of California, Idaho, Iowa, Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oregon and Texas owned by City of Industry Hospitality Venture, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino – City of Industry, CA), Farmdale Hospitality Services, Inc. (Blue Zebra – North Hollywood, CA), High Expectations Hospitality, LLC (Spearmint Rhino – Dallas, TX), Inland Restaurant Venture I, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino – Van Nuys, CA), Kentucky Hospitality Venture, LLC (Spearmint Rhino – Lexington, KY), L.C.M., LLC (Spearmint Rhino – Boise Idaho), Midnight Sun Enterprises, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino – Torrance, CA), Nitelife, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino – Minneapolis, MN), Olympic Avenue Venture, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino – Los Angeles, CA), The Oxnard Hospitality Services, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino – Oxnard, CA), Rialto Pockets, Incorporated (Spearmint Rhino – Rialto, CA), Rouge Gentlemen’s Club, Inc. (Dames N Games – Van Nuys, CA), Santa Barbara Hospitality Services, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino – Santa Barbara, CA), Santa Maria Restaurant Enterprises, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino – Santa Maria, CA), Sarie’s Lounge, LLC (Spearmint Rhino – Omaha, NE), Washington Management, LLC (Dames N Games – Los Angeles, CA) Wild Orchid, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino – Portland, OR), World Class Venues, LLC (Spearmint Rhino – Omaha, NE), (the “Clubs”) should have been treated as employees rather than as owners (i.e., members of limited liability companies), and as a result were entitled to but did not receive adequate compensation and benefits in exchange for the services they provided to the Club(s). Plaintiffs further contend that Defendants failed to pay overtime, failed to provide meal and rest periods, failed to provide accurate, itemized wage statements, that Defendants were engaged in unlawful tip-sharing arrangements with the entertainers and that Defendants violated the Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) (Cal. Labor Code §§ 2699, et seq.). Defendants in the Action dispute and deny any and all claims asserted in the Action. Defendants deny that they engaged in any wrongdoing, and deny that they are liable to the Class Members in any way.

     

    Intervenors are current entertainers who have declined employment status and entered into individual LLC agreements to become Owners and/or LLC members to perform at any of the above-referenced Clubs. Intervenors seek an order and/or injunctive relief preserving their ownership status and their rights to continue to perform at Clubs pursuant to the individual LLC agreements as Owners and/or LLC Members. Intervenors seek to remain classified as Owners and/or LLC Members and not to be classified as employees.

     

    The United States District Court for the Central District of California has not ruled on the merits of the foregoing claims.

     

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  3. Why is there a settlement?

    The Settlement represents a compromise of highly disputed claims. Nothing in the Settlement is intended to be construed as an admission by the Defendant that the claims in the Lawsuit are appropriately brought as a class action, that the claims have merit, or that the Defendant has any liability.  Class Counsel believes that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and is in the best interest of the Classes.  Both sides have agreed to the Settlement in order to avoid the risks, uncertainty and delays of further litigation.

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  4. Who are the Defendants?

    Santa Barbara Hospitality Services, Inc., The Spearmint Rhino Companies Worldwide, Inc., Spearmint Rhino Consulting Worldwide, Inc., Santa Barbara Hospitality Services, LLC, DG Hospitality Van Nuys, LLC, Rouge Gentlemen’s Club, Inc., City of Industry Hospitality Venture, Inc., Farmdale Hospitality Services, Inc., High Expectations Hospitality, LLC, Inland Restaurant Venture I, Inc., Kentucky Hospitality Venture, LLC, L.C.M., LLC, Midnight Sun Enterprises, Inc., Nitelife, Inc., Olympic Avenue Venture, Inc., Wild Orchid, Inc., Rialto Pockets, Incorporated, Santa Barbara Hospitality Services, Inc., Santa Maria Restaurant Enterprises, Inc., Sarie’s Lounge, LLC, The Oxnard Hospitality Services, Inc., Washington Management, LLC, World Class Venues, LLC, W.P.B. Hospitality, LLC, City of Industry Hospitality Venture, LLC, Farmdale Hospitality Services, LLC, High Expectations 9 Hospitality Dallas, LLC, Inland Restaurant Venture I, LLC, Kentucky Hospitality Venture Lexington, LLC, LCM1, LLC, Midnight Sun Enterprises, LLC, Nitelife Minneapolis, LLC, Olympic Avenue Ventures, LLC, Rialto Pockets, LLC, Santa Barbara Hospitality Services, LLC, Santa Maria Restaurant Enterprises, LLC, The Oxnard Hospitality Services, LLC, Washington Management Los Angeles, LLC, Wild Orchid Portland, LLC, World Class Venues Iowa, LLC, and WPB Hospitality West Palm Beach, LLC

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  5. How do I know if I am part of the settlement?

    You may be part of the settlement if you performed as an entertainer at any of the Clubs and falls within at least one of the following subclasses:

     

    (1). “California Settlement Class”: the individuals who worked as entertainers and who have provided nude, semi-nude and/or bikini entertainment for customers at one or more of the Clubs owned by the following entities at some point during the period of time from February 3, 2013 up to and including the entry of the Preliminary Approval Order: City of Industry Hospitality Venture, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino – City of Industry, CA); Farmdale Hospitality Services, Inc. (Blue Zebra – North Hollywood, CA); Inland Restaurant Venture I, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino – Van Nuys, CA); Midnight Sun Enterprises, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino, Torrance, CA); Olympic Avenue Venture, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino, Los Angeles, CA); The Oxnard Hospitality Services, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino, Oxnard, CA); Rialto Pockets, Incorporated (Spearmint Rhino, Rialto, CA); Rouge Gentlemen’s Club, Inc. (Dames N Games, Van Nuys, CA); Santa Barbara Hospitality Services, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino, Santa Barbara, CA); Santa Maria Restaurant Enterprises, Inc. (Spearmint Rhino, Santa Maria, CA); and Washington Management, LLC (Dames N Games, Los Angeles, CA).

     

    (2) “Florida Settlement Class”: the individuals who performed as entertainers and who have provided nude, semi-nude, and/or bikini entertainment for customers at the Club owned by WPB Hospitality, LLC from February 3, 2012 to the entry of the Preliminary Approval Order.

    (3) “Idaho Settlement Class”: the individuals who performed as entertainers and who have provided nude, semi-nude, and/or bikini entertainment for customers at the Club owned by L.C.M., LLC from February 3, 2014 to the entry of the Preliminary Approval Order.

    (4) “Iowa Settlement Class”: the individuals who performed as entertainers and who have provided nude, semi-nude, and/or bikini entertainment for customers at the Club owned by Sarie’s Lounge, LLC and World Class Ventures, LLC from February 3, 2014 to the entry of the Preliminary Approval Order.

    (5) “Kentucky Settlement Class”: the individuals who performed as entertainers and who have provided nude, semi-nude, and/or bikini entertainment for customers at the Club owned by Kentucky Hospitality Venture, LLC from February 3, 2014 to the entry of the Preliminary Approval Order.

    (6) “Minnesota Settlement Class”: the individuals who performed as entertainers and who have provided nude, semi-nude, and/or bikini entertainment for customers at the Club owned by Nitelife, Inc. from February 3, 2014 to the entry of the Preliminary Approval Order.

    (7) “Oregon Settlement Class”: the individuals who performed as entertainers and who have provided nude, semi-nude, and/or bikini entertainment for customers at the Club owned by Wild Orchid, Inc. from February 3, 2014 to the entry of the Preliminary Approval Order.

    (8) “Texas Settlement Class”: the individuals who performed as entertainers and who have provided nude, semi-nude, and/or bikini entertainment for customers at the Club owned by High Expectations Hospitality Venture, LLC from May 3, 2014 to the entry of the Preliminary Approval Order.

    (9) “FLSA Settlement Class”: the individuals who are members of the California, Idaho, Iowa, Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oregon and Texas Settlement Classes who elect to participate in the Settlement and timely submit a Valid Claim Form.

    (10) “Intervenor Class”: the individuals who currently perform as members of limited liability companies at any Existing Clubs and wish to perform and remain classified as Owners or LLC Members and not as employees. 

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  6. What can I get from the settlement?

    An estimated payment to eligible class members of between $6.92 and $11.93 per dance day. This amount is an estimate only, and various factors may lead to this number being different at the time of final approval of the settlement.

    Class Members will receive Settlement payments on a pro rata basis, based upon the number of Dance Days performed. In lieu of receiving the Settlement payment by check, each individual Class Member may elect in writing to receive credit in the amount of two (2) times the Settlement payment to be applied solely towards the amount of the Overhead Payment(s) at her Qualifying Club, such credit to be in an amount equivalent to two (2) times the Settlement payment attributable to such Class Member. Application of the Settlement payment towards Overhead Payment(s) shall be subject to the satisfaction of certain criteria, including without limitation, submitting a valid Overhead Payment Voucher to the Settlement Administrator, the existence of a valid LLC Contract, redemption of the Overhead Payment Voucher within a specified period, and other related criteria to effectively administer the Overhead Payment Voucher benefits among eligible Class Members. This Credit Benefit will be good for twelve (12) months following the Effective Date.

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  7. Can I be retaliated against if I submit a claim?

    No.

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  8. Do I have a lawyer in this settlement?

    Yes, 

    Class Counsel are: 

    Todd Slobin, Esq. and Ricardo J. Prieto, Esq. of SHELLIST | LAZARZ | SLOBIN LLP 

    Intervenors’ Counsel are: 

    William X. King, Esq. and Casey T. Wallace, Esq.  of Feldman & Feldman, PC

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  9. How do I get more information?

    For more information, you may:

    (a) Inspect the Court files at the United States District Court, Central District of California, located at 3470 Twelfth Street, Room 134, Riverside, CA 92501-3000, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    (b) Log on to PACER at https://ecf.cacd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl using the case name and number listed on page 1 of this notice to examine the pleadings in this action for minimal cost.

    (c) Examine the full Settlement Agreement, the notice and the claim form maintained in the Case Documents section of this website

    (d) Contact the Settlement Administrator by telephone at 866-644-9959 or in writing at:

    Lauren Byrne v. Santa Barbara Hospitality, Inc., et al.

    &

    Jenetta L. Bracy v. DG Hospitality Van Nuys, LLC, et al.

    Settlement Administrator

    P.O. Box 404017

    Louisville, KY 40233

     

    (e) Class Counsel can be contacted by writing to Todd Slobin, Esq. at the following address or calling him at the following toll free number:

     

    Todd Slobin, Esq.

    tslobin@eeoc.net

    Ricardo J. Prieto, Esq.

    rprieto@eeoc.net

    SHELLIST | LAZARZ | SLOBIN LLP

    11 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1515

    Houston, Texas 77046

    Tel: (713) 621-2277

     

    (f) Intervenors’ Counsel can be contacted by writing to Casey T. Wallace, Esq. at the following address or calling him at the following number:

     

    Casey T. Wallace, Esq.

    casey.wallace@feldman.law

    Feldman & Feldman, PC

    3355 W. Alabama St. Suite 1220

    Houston, TX 77098

    Tel: (713) 986-9471

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  10. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?

    The Final Hearing on the fairness and adequacy of the proposed Settlement, the plan of distribution, the enhancement awards to the named class representatives, and Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and costs will be held on March 5, 2018, in Courtroom 1 of the United States District Court, Central District of California, located at 3470 Twelfth Street, Riverside, CA 92501-3000. This Hearing may be continued to a later date without further notice.

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  11. Do I have to come to the hearing?

    You are not required to attend the Final Approval Hearing, although any Settlement Class Member is welcome to attend the hearing.

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  12. Can I speak at the hearing?

    The purpose of this hearing is for the Court to determine whether to grant final approval to the Settlement. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will listen to people who have made a timely written request to speak at the hearing. This hearing may be rescheduled by the Court without further notice to you.

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  13. How can I file a claim?

    If you want to claim your share of the Settlement, you must complete and mail the Claim Form to the Settlement Administrator at: 

    Lauren Byrne v. Santa Barbara Hospitality, Inc., et al.

    &

    Jenetta L. Bracy v. DG Hospitality Van Nuys, LLC, et al.

    Settlement Administrator

    P.O. Box 404017

    Louisville, KY 40233

    YOUR CLAIM MUST BE POSTMARKED ON OR BEFORE FEBRUARY 2, 2018. The Claim Form must be sent by United States Postal Service first class mail or the equivalent. If a Claim Form is not received by February 2, 2018 it will be accepted as long as it bears a postmark bearing that date.

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  14. How do I get out of the settlement?

    If you don’t want benefits from this Settlement, and want to keep the rights that are being released, then you must take steps to exclude yourself – which is sometimes referred to as “opting-out” of the Settlement Class.  To do so, you must submit a request for exclusion. Your request for exclusion must be signed, dated, completed and returned by first class U.S. mail, or the equivalent to the Settlement Administrator at:

     

    Lauren Byrne v. Santa Barbara Hospitality, Inc., et al.

    &

    Jenetta L. Bracy v. DG Hospitality Van Nuys, LLC, et al.

    Settlement Administrator

    P.O. Box 404017

    Louisville, KY 40233

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  15. How do I tell the Court if I don’t like the settlement?

    If you believe the Settlement is unfair or inadequate in any respect, you may object to the Settlement by filing a written objection with the United States District Court for the Central District of California and mailing a copy of your objection to the Settlement Administrator, Class Counsel, Intervenors’ Counsel and Defense Counsel, at the addresses listed below. All objections must be filed with the Court no later than February 2, 2018. Copies of your objections mailed to Class Counsel, counsel for Defendants, Intervenor’s Counsel and the Settlement Administrator must be postmarked no later than February 2, 2018.

    SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR:

    Lauren Byrne v. Santa Barbara Hospitality, Inc., et al.

    &

    Jenetta L. Bracy v. DG Hospitality Van Nuys, LLC, et al.

    Settlement Administrator

    P.O. Box 404017

    Louisville, KY 40233

     

    CLASS COUNSEL:

    Todd Slobin, Esq.

    Ricardo J. Prieto, Esq.

    SHELLIST | LAZARZ | SLOBIN LLP

    11 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1515

    Houston, TX 77046

     

    Melinda Arbuckle, Esq.

    BARON & BUDD, P.C.

    15910 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1600

    Encino, CA 91436

     

    Salvatore C. Badala, Esq.

    Paul B. Maslo, Esq.

    Napoli Shkolnik PLLC

    360 Lexington Avenue

    New York, NY 10017

     

    DEFENSE COUNSEL:

    Peter E. Garrell, Esq.

    John M. Kennedy, Esq.

    GARRELL LAW, P.C.

    1875 Tandem Way

    Norco, CA 92860

     

    INTERVENORS’ COUNSEL

    William X. King, Esq.

    Casey T. Wallace, Esq.

    Feldman & Feldman, PC

    3355 W. Alabama St. Suite 1220

    Houston, TX 77098

     

    COURT

    United States District Court,

    Central District of California

    3470 Twelfth Street

    Riverside, CA 92501-3801

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  16. What’s the difference between objecting and excluding?

    Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement.  You can object only if you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement.  Excluding yourself from the Settlement (“opting-out”) is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement.  If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.

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  17. What happens if I do nothing?

    If you do not submit the Claim Form and W-9 Form, or if you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will be bound by all the terms of the Settlement, including a full release of claims that will prevent you from suing Defendants, their employees, officers, directors, parent companies, or any other related persons or entities for the matters being settled in this Action. If you fail to file a valid and timely claim, you will receive nothing under the Settlement.

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