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Sprint Nextel (Business Channel Employees)

Harlow et al. v. Sprint Nextel Corporation and Sprint/United Management Company

Type of Case

Unpaid Commissions

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Case Updates

  • February 8, 2019

    Sprint Nextel Business Channel Settlement Update

    The first round of settlement checks were mailed to settlement class members on January 24th.  The tax forms related to these payments are included with the checks, so please maintain them to include with your tax returns early next year. 

    If you misplace the tax forms, you may contact the settlement administrator via their dedicated tax form hotline at (612) 359-2888.  For all other questions, you may contact our case clerk, Jacob Skold, via email at jskold@nka.com.  We appreciate your patience during this busy time. 

  • January 25, 2019

    Sprint Nextel Business Channel Case Update

    On January 24, 2019, the settlement administrator mailed class members the first of two settlement checks they will receive.  Click here to review the allocation amounts (to search use CTRL F). The second, and final, round of settlement checks will be mailed to class members on approximately June 18, 2019 to redistribute any uncashed or unused funds.

  • December 21, 2018

    Court Approves Settlements Totaling $34,150,000.00 for Sprint Sales Reps Represented by Nichols Kaster, PLLP

    On December 10 and 20, 2018, the Kansas district court granted final approval of settlements reached involving allegations by Sprint’s retail and business channel sales representatives of unpaid commissions. The settlements provide $30,500,000.00 to a class of 34,905 Sprint retail store employees, and $3,650,000.00 to a class of 3,917 business channel employees, who worked for Sprint during the 2005 through 2009 time frame. The settlement came after over a decade of contentious litigation and as the parties were preparing for trial.

    Plaintiffs started both cases in 2008, alleging that after Sprint’s merger with Nextel the telecommunications giant failed to pay accurate commissions owed under the commission agreements. The employees asserted that the company’s systems were unable to accurately track and calculate their commissions for several years. 

    According to an internal Sprint company document publicly filed with the court, a top Sprint executive tasked with fixing the commission issues predicted it would take “lawyers, guns, and money” for Sprint employees to get what they were owed. Nearly a decade of contentious litigation followed, which eventually resulted in the settlements reached. The cases required expansive discovery and analysis of Sprint’s complex commissions-related data and plans. Between the two cases, class counsel took the depositions of nearly 60 Sprint corporate executives and those with knowledge of and responsibility for its commission system. The employees relied heavily on their wireless industry commission reconciliation experts Nile Nickel and Barry Ezell of Balance Engines LLC, and software engineer and data mining expert Dr. Margaret Dunham.

    Plaintiffs are represented by class counsel Michele R. Fisher and Paul J. Lukas of Nichols Kaster, PLLP, and local counsel George Hanson of Stueve Siegel Hanson, LLP. Ms. Fisher stated, “the settlement is the result of over ten years of hard work by many people and the dedication of our class representatives. We are happy the class will finally be paid early in the New Year.” 

    The retail channel case is Sibley v. Sprint Nextel Corp., Civ. No. 08-2063-KHV (D. Kan.), and the business channel case is Harlow v. Sprint Nextel Corp, Civ. No. 08-2222-KHV (D. Kan.). 

    More information about the cases and settlement can be found at www.nka.com/case/sprintretailsettlement and www.nka.com/case/sprintbusinesssettlement

  • December 11, 2018

    Sprint Nextel (Business Channel Employees) – Unpaid Commissions Lawsuit Update

    Great news!  The Court granted final approval of the settlement.  This means settlement checks will be mailed to Settlement Class Members on approximately January 24, 2019.   A second round of settlement checks will be mailed to Settlement Class Members in late June 2019 to redistribute any uncashed or unused funds.

    Click here to review the order and Click here to review 12/2018 re-allocation amounts (to search the re-allocation PDF use CTRL F).

  • September 26, 2018

    Sprint Nextel (Business Channel Employees) – Unpaid Commissions Lawsuit Update

    Harlow et al. v. Sprint Nextel Corp. et al., Case No.: 02:08–CV–02222–KHV/TJJ (District of Kansas)

    CLASS ACTION COMMISSIONS SETTLEMENT

    This website provides information regarding the 2018 settlement of a class action entitled, Harlow et al. v. Sprint Nextel Corp. et al., Case No.: 02:08–CV–02222–KHV (District of Kansas). The case was filed in May 2008. The lawsuit alleges that because of problems with Sprint’s commissions system, Sprint did not pay all of the commissions due to former or current business channel employees.

    The Settlement Class includes: All business direct channel employees at Sprint who worked as transactional sales representatives and/or hunters, and those who managed them (including hybrid managers), during the Class Period of January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2009, who were paid in full or in part based on commission, and did not request exclusion from this case.

    Sprint denies the claims, that the Settlement Class was net underpaid commissions under the terms of the commission plans, and that the Settlement Class are entitled to relief. However, the parties believe that the proposed settlement is a fair and reasonable resolution in light of the risk and expense of continued litigation. The settlement provides that Sprint will pay $3,650,000.00 to settle this case.

    This proposed settlement received preliminary approval from the Court on June 4, 2018 and will resolve all claims of the Settlement Class Members who do not request exclusion from the settlement.

    SUMMARY OF RIGHTS

    (Please see the Notice of Settlement for more detailed information about the settlement and your legal rights)

    You May:

    Settlement Checks:

    Effect of Choosing the Option:

    Due Date:

    Do nothing

    • You will receive a settlement check in the amount provided in the Notice of Settlement you received.  You may also find this amount in the Settlement Allocations.
    • Within approximately 45 days of the Court’s order granting final approval of the settlement, settlement checks will be mailed. 
    • After the 90-day period for cashing settlement checks expires, uncashed funds will be redistributed to Settlement Class members who timely cashed their settlement checks and a second round of checks will be mailed.
    • You will release any and all claims for unpaid commissions due under state (including but not limited to the Kansas Wage Payment Act), federal, or common law (including but not limited to breach of contract) that you have, or may have brought, against Sprint and the Released Parties as defined in the Settlement Agreement from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2009.

    Not Applicable

    Exclude yourself by making a written exclusion request.
    • You will not receive any settlement check in this case.
    • You can elect to opt-out of the lawsuit and retain your right to sue Sprint.
    • To exclude yourself, you must submit a signed exclusion request.  If you exclude yourself, you will not receive a settlement check.

    The exclusion request must be sent to the Claims Administrator no later than October 20, 2018. See Notice of Settlement

    Submit an objection.
    • You will receive a settlement check in the amount provided in the Notice of Settlement you received.  You may also find this amount in the Settlement Allocations.
    • Within approximately 45 days of the Court’s order granting final approval of the settlement, settlement checks will be mailed. 
    • After the 90-day period for cashing checks expires, any uncashed funds will be redistributed to Settlement Class members who had timely cashed their settlement checks.
    • If you do not exclude yourself, you can remain in the lawsuit and still write to the Court explaining why you object or disagree with the settlement. 
    • You will release any and all claims for unpaid commissions due under state (including but not limited to the Kansas Wage Payment Act), federal, or common law (including but not limited to breach of contract) that you have, or may have brought, against Sprint and the Released Parties as defined in the Settlement Agreement from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2009.

    The objection must be sent to the Claims Administrator no later than October 20, 2018. See Notice of Settlement

    If you exclude yourself from the settlement, you cannot object to the settlement.

    Appear at the hearing.

    See above

    • If you do not exclude yourself, you can also speak to the Court about the fairness of settlement.

    The hearing is scheduled for December 10, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.  This date may change without further notice.

    SETTLEMENT TIMELINE

    DESCRIPTION

    DATE

    Notice of Settlement Mailing

    8/21/2018

    Deadline for Objections and Requests for Exclusion

    10/20/2018

    Final Approval Hearing

    12/10/2018

    10:30 a.m. in Courtroom 643, United States District Court, 500 State Ave., Kansas City, KS (Judge Vratil)

    Mailing of First Round of Settlement Checks

    Approximately 45 days after the Court grants final approval of the settlement

    Mailing of Second Round of Settlement Checks (If Uncashed Check Funds Remain)

    Approximately 5 months after the first round of Settlement Checks are mailed

    DOCUMENTS RELATED TO SETTLEMENT

    Those Class Members included in the Settlement are listed in the Settlement Allocations spreadsheet below. Links to other settlement related documents are also provided:

    Settlement Allocations

    Notice of Settlement

    Email Notice

    Settlement Agreement

    Settlement Postcard

    Preliminary Approval of Settlement Order

    Updated Address Information:

    Class Members can update their contact information by clicking the "Update Contact Information" button above.

    Class members can find similar information about the case at www.sprintbusinesssettlement.com

  • September 10, 2018

    Sprint Nextel (Business Channel Employees) Update

    Awaiting Permissions from Court to Send Notice of Settlement

    The parties are currently waiting for the Court to give them permission to send the Notices of Settlement to class members.  Once class members receive that Notice of Settlement, they will not need to do anything to participate in the settlement.  However, any class member who wishes to object or request exclusion from the settlement will have 60 days to do so, by following the procedure outlined in the Notice of Settlement.  Once the Court gives the parties permission to send the Notice of Settlement, it will set a final approval hearing date.  Once final approval is granted, checks will be mailed to class members approximately 6 weeks later.  Our estimate is that checks will be mailed early next year if approval goes smoothly.

  • June 7, 2018

    Settlement Preliminarily Approved for Sprint Business Channel Employees in Commissions Lawsuit

    On June 4, 2018, the Kansas district court preliminarily approved a $3,650,000.00 settlement reached on behalf of a class of 3,919 Sprint business channel employees who worked as transactional sales representatives and/or hunters, and those who managed them, from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2009.

    Plaintiffs initiated the long running action in May 2008, alleging that after Sprint’s merger with Nextel, the telecommunications company failed to pay accurate commissions owed under the commission agreements. They alleged the company’s systems were unable to accurately track and calculate their commissions and pay data for several years. Consistent with a choice of venue provision in their commission agreement stating all claims had to be pursued in Kansas, the workers brought claims in the Kansas district court for unpaid wages under the Kansas Wage Payment Act, and for breach of contract. Sprint has denied and continues to deny the allegations, asserting that Plaintiffs were at all times paid commissions in accordance with the operative commission contracts and no class member was underpaid any commissions he or she was due as a result of a systematic computer problem with Sprint’s commissions systems.

    The parties engaged in significant motion practice, and the case required expansive discovery and analysis of Sprint’s commissions-related data. Plaintiffs’ case relied heavily on their wireless industry commissions reconciliation experts Nile Nickel and Barry Ezell of Balance Engines LLC, and software engineer and data mining expert Dr. Margaret Dunham.

    Plaintiffs are represented by class counsel, Paul Lukas, Michele Fisher, and Alex Baggio of Nichols Kaster, PLLP, and George Hanson of Stueve Siegel Hanson, LLP. Ms. Fisher discussed the settlement, stating, “this was a long and hard fought case with extremely complex data and issues. We are fortunate to have had such dedicated and talented experts, and class representatives who never gave up. We believe the result is a fair and reasonable resolution to this litigation.” Class counsel also represents 34,909 retail channel employees in a related case, Sibley v. Sprint Nextel Corp., Civ. No. 08-2063-KHV (D. Kan.).

    Plaintiffs now begin the settlement notice process, and will subsequently seek final approval of the settlement so payments can be distributed. Class members are encouraged to promptly update their contact information at www.sprintbusinesssettlement.com or www.nka.com/case/sprintbusinesssettlement/.

    The case is entitled Harlow et al. v. Sprint Nextel Corporation et al., Civ. No. 08-2222-KHV (D. Kan.)
  • March 26, 2018

    Sprint Nextel (Business Channel Employees) – Unpaid Commissions Lawsuit - Update March 26, 2018

    At the preliminary approval hearing earlier this month, the Court requested additional information about the settlement process, which the parties filed on March 19th.  The Court also asked the parties to remove the claim form requirement from the settlement process and send checks directly to class members.  This means that, upon the Court's preliminary approval of the settlement, class members will be sent a settlement notice and provided an opportunity to request exclusion if they do not wish to participate in the settlement.  After that exclusion period, the Court will hold a final fairness hearing at a date to be determined.  Once the Court grants final approval of the settlement, class members who did not request exclusion will receive a check.  We do not know how long it will take for the Court to grant preliminary approval, or ultimately grant final approval so checks can be mailed.  Our best estimate is that checks might go out late this year or early next year.

    If you are a class member and your contact information has changed, please send us an email at sprintbusinesssettlement@nka.com with your name (and any former name while at Sprint), current address, and last four digits of your social security number.  We need last four digits of your SSN to help match you to the correct allocation.  If you have questions (other than your allocation amount since that information has not been approved by the Court), our clerk Will Elsass can assist you at welsass@nka.com. Thank you.​

  • February 9, 2018

    Sprint Nextel (Business Channel Employees) – Unpaid Commissions Lawsuit - Update February 9, 2018

    The parties have reached a settlement in the amount of $3,650,000 on behalf of 3,932 employees for the business channel commissions lawsuit against Sprint. Because this is a class action, the Court will need to approve the settlement and allocations for each person. The Court will hold a preliminary approval hearing on February 20th to review the settlement. If the Court approves it, we will send notice with each individual’s settlement amount, along with a claim form that must be returned to receive a payment.  It will also include instructions on how to object to, or request exclusion from, the settlement if one chooses to do so. We will not be able to provide individual allocation amounts at this time, so please wait for the Court’s approval and the mailed notice. We also do not know how long the Court approval process will take.

    To ensure you receive the notice with your allocation amount, please send us an email at sprintbusinesssettlement@nka.com with your name (and any former name while at Sprint), current address, and last four digits of your social security number.  We need the last four digits of your social security number to help match you to the correct allocation.  If you have questions (other than your allocation amount), our clerk Will Elsass can assist you at welsass@nka.com. Thank you.​​

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