Senegal, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.Case No. 18-cv-6006
The questions and answers in this section are provided for your convenience, but you should consult the class notice you received, which was authorized by the Court and can also be accessed on this website from the Important Documents page. You may also contact the Claims Administrator or Class Counsel if you have any questions.
The purpose of the mailed Notice was to inform you about (i) this lawsuit, (ii) the Settlement and Settlement Class definition that the Court has preliminarily approved, and (iii) your legal rights and options in connection with the Settlement and a hearing to be held before the Court on December 18, 2018 to consider the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the Settlement and related matters. The Notice also describes the steps to be taken by those who wish to be excluded from the Class or to object to the Settlement, and for those who remain in the Class, the steps necessary to seek a share of the Settlement Fund or Diversity and Reserve Fund (collectively, the “Settlement Funds”) if the Court approves the Settlement.
To review a copy of the Notice, click here.Back To Top
Plaintiffs Jerome Senegal, Erika Williams, Brent Griffin, Amanda Jason, Kellie Farrish, and Irvin Nash, filed a lawsuit alleging that Chase discriminated on the basis of race against African American Financial Advisors with respect to branch assignments and other practices such as account transfers and job titles and designations. These Plaintiffs brought class claims under federal anti-discrimination laws. Together these individuals are called “Named Plaintiffs” because they brought the lawsuit seeking to represent a group (or “Class”) of similarly situated African American and/or Black Financial Advisors, Financial Advisor Associates, Senior Financial Advisors and Private Client Advisors employed by Chase within Chase Wealth Management.
The Complaint describes all of Plaintiffs’ claims and can be found here. The lawsuit is known as Senegal, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 18-cv-6006 (N.D. Ill.).
Chase denied and continues to deny all of the allegations and claims asserted in this lawsuit, including alleged liability under federal, state, or local anti-discrimination laws, and denies that the Named Plaintiffs or Class Members are entitled to any relief. The Court has not made any determination on the merits of this matter or decided who is right and who is wrong. By entering into the proposed Settlement, Chase does not admit any wrongdoing. The Settlement resolves claims of race discrimination and retaliation in compensation and other terms and conditions of employment, including claims brought or that could have been brought in the lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, as well as state and local anti-discrimination laws.
The Court has reviewed the Settlement and has preliminarily approved it as being fair, adequate, and reasonable. Before deciding whether to give the Settlement final approval, the Court wishes to inform the Class of the general terms of the Settlement and of the right of Class Members to comment on, or to opt out of (be excluded from participating in), the Settlement.Back To Top
You are a member of the Class affected by the Settlement if you fit within this definition:
All African American and/or Black Financial Advisors, Financial Advisor Associates, Senior Financial Advisors, or Private Client Advisors employed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. or JPMorgan Securities, LLC within Chase Wealth Management at any time between April 13, 2013, and September 12, 2018.
If you received a Notice in a mailing addressed to you, then Chase’s records show that you may be a Class Member, i.e. that you fit the above definition. Individuals who self-identified as “Two or More Races (Not Hispanic or Latino)” will have also received an enclosed Verification Form with their Notice, which will need to be filled out and submitted to the Claims Administrator for them to be considered eligible to participate in the Settlement. If you are a Class Member, you have legal rights and options that you can exercise before the Court finally approves the Settlement.Back To Top
Chase has agreed to create a Settlement Fund in the amount of $19.5 million and a Diversity and Reserve Fund in the total amount of $4.5 million. Together, the Settlement Funds will cover payments to Settlement Class Members, Service Awards to the Named Plaintiffs, Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees and costs, taxes (including the employee’s share of taxes or contributions such as federal and state unemployment taxes, FICA, FUTA, SUTA, and Medicare), and the costs of administering the Settlement Funds, including the costs of notifying the Class. The Diversity and Reserve Fund will also cover the costs of certain diversity programs and initiatives, described below.
In addition to establishing the Settlement Funds, Chase has agreed to implement various revisions to its policies and practices and to take action designed to enhance opportunities for employment, earnings, and advancement of African American and Black Advisors.
Below is a summary of the actions Chase has agreed to take during the three-year period of this Settlement:
Chase will conduct a review of the branch assignment process for Advisors. The review will analyze the potential correlation between an Advisor’s branch(es) and performance.
Chase will convene one in-person meeting and two meetings by telephone or video-conference each year to explore ideas and initiatives designed with the objective of increasing the number of African American and Black Advisors and increasing African American and Black Advisor productivity and retention.
Chase will make coaching and training available to African American and Black Advisors through the Advancing Black Leaders program. As part of this coaching and training, each African American and Black Advisor will have the opportunity to attend instructor-led sessions focusing on core competencies, including career management, relationship management, and navigating the firm.
Chase will engage a dedicated resource to develop initiatives designed to increase the recruitment of African American and Black Advisors.
Chase will provide applicants for open Advisor positions who receive conditional offers with certain data regarding the branch(es) from which they have received offers.
Chase will hold diversity training for all Market Directors, which will include training on the concepts of implicit bias and racial stereotyping. Newly-hired or assigned Market Directors will receive diversity training within 90 days of their hire or assignment.
Chase will continue to include managers’ diversity efforts as a component in Chase’s assessment of manager performance.
On an annual basis, Chase will hold regional information meetings for all Advisors to explain the managerial selection process and qualifications, including that all candidates must have the required regulatory licenses.
On an annual basis, Chase will send an email to all Advisors who self-identify in the EEO category “Black or African American” identifying the management coaching and training opportunities available to African American and Black Advisors.
Chase will post all open positions on its internal job posting site.
Coaching regarding the management selection process will be made available to all African American and Black candidates.
Chase will offer to conduct voluntary exit surveys with all departing African American and/or Black Advisors and share the results with the Head of Chase Wealth Management.
Chase will establish a Diversity and Reserve Fund of $4.5 million to fund diversity programs and initiatives and to make certain payments, including the costs of administering the Settlement and monetary awards to certain Class Members.
$1.5 million of the Diversity and Reserve Fund will be set aside for diversity programs and initiatives. These programs and initiatives will have the goal of enhancing opportunities for employment, earnings, and advancement of African Americans and Blacks at Chase.
Chase will reaffirm its commitment to the prohibition against race discrimination and retaliation.
On an annual basis, Chase will meet with and report to Class Counsel regarding Chase’s compliance with these provisions.
In order to seek monetary relief from the Settlement, you must submit a Claim Form and not opt out of the Settlement. You need not submit the Claim Form until after the Final Approval Hearing on December 18, 2018.
If you do not request to be excluded, you will remain a part of the Settlement Class. The Court will hold the Final Approval Hearing and you, as a Settlement Class Member, will be represented by Class Counsel at no cost to you. If the Court grants final approval to the Settlement, you will then have the opportunity to submit a Claim Form requesting a share of the Settlement Funds. In order to be eligible to receive a share of the Settlement Funds, you must fill out, sign, and submit a Claim Form, a Form W-4, and a Form W-9 to the Claims Administrator by the Claims Submission Deadline to be set by the Court after final approval of the Settlement. See FAQ 7 below for additional detail about submitting a Claim Form.
If you self-identified as “Two or More Races,” meet the Class definition, and want to participate in the Settlement, you must complete and submit the Verification Form, in addition to the Claim Form. If you complete, sign and submit the Verification Form, you will become a Class Member and be eligible to participate in the Settlement.
Each Settlement Class Member will release his or her race discrimination and retaliation claims against Chase under federal, state, and local laws, arising up to and including September 12, 2018, as set forth in the Settlement.
Unless you opt out, whether or not you submit a Claim Form, all claims covered by this Settlement through September 12, 2018 will be barred by this Settlement if you meet the Class definition. If you did not opt out, you remain eligible to object to the Settlement pursuant to Option D below, whether or not you submit a Claim Form.
If the Court grants final approval of the Settlement and you do nothing, all claims covered by this Settlement through September 12, 2018 will be barred by this Settlement. That is, you will give up your rights to sue Chase separately for the legal claims covered by this Settlement. You also will not be eligible receive a monetary award.
If you do not meet the Class definition, you may not participate in the Settlement, and do not need to do anything in response to this Notice. As someone who is not a Class Member, any rights you might have to sue Chase separately will not be impacted by this Settlement.
If you do not wish to participate in the Settlement, but wish to retain your rights to sue Chase separately for the legal claims covered by this Settlement, you must request to opt out of, or be excluded from, this Settlement. If you opt out, you will not be eligible for any monetary award as part of this Settlement. However, you will keep any rights you might have to sue Chase separately for the legal claims covered by this Settlement.
Any Class Member who wishes to opt out must mail a written, signed statement that he or she is opting out of the Settlement to the Claims Administrator, at the address listed below. To be effective, this opt out statement must be received on or before November 26, 2018, and must include the following language:
“I hereby opt out of the class action settlement in the lawsuit Senegal, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 18-cv-6006 (N.D. Ill.). I understand that, by requesting to be excluded from the monetary settlement in this case, I will receive no money from either the Settlement Fund or Diversity and Reserve Fund created under the Settlement Agreement. I understand that I may bring a separate legal action seeking damages, but I might receive nothing or less than what I would have received if I had filed a claim under the class monetary award procedure in this case.”
The address of the Claims Administrator is:
Senegal v. JPMorgan Chase
P.O. Box 2312
Portland, OR 97208-2312
Class Members who file opt outs may rescind their opt outs (i.e., you may change your mind and stay in the Class). To be effective, such rescissions must be in writing and received by the Claims Administrator at least one day before the Final Approval Hearing (or “Fairness Hearing”) on December 18, 2018.
Class Members who submit timely and valid requests for exclusion will have no right to object to the Settlement in Court and will no longer be represented by Class Counsel.
You may not opt out of the programmatic relief to be provided as part of this Settlement.
The Court must assess the overall fairness and reasonableness of the Settlement to the Class. Class Members who have not opted out of the Settlement may comment on or object to the Settlement, regardless of whether they intend to submit a Claim Form.
In order to have your comment or objection to the Settlement considered by the Court or to speak at the Final Approval Hearing, your written comment or objection to the Settlement must be signed and submitted to the Claims Administrator (with copies served on Class Counsel and Counsel for Chase, at the addresses listed below), must include a detailed description of the basis of the comment or objection, must indicate whether you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing, and must be received by the Claims Administrator no later than November 26, 2018. You do not need to be represented by separate counsel to comment on or object to the Settlement.
The address of Class Counsel and addresses of Counsel for Chase are:
|Class Counsel||Counsel for Chase|
|Linda D. Friedman|
Suzanne E. Bish
George S. Robot
Stowell & Friedman, Ltd.
303 W. Madison Street, Suite 2600
Chicago, IL 60606-3395
|Brad S. Karp
Daniel J. Toal
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
1285 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019-6064
|Kenneth J. Turnbull
Brendan T. Killeen
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
101 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10178-0060
If the Court grants final approval of the Settlement, then all Class Members who do not opt out will release Chase from all claims of race discrimination and retaliation in employment from April 13, 2013, until September 12, 2018. To “release” a claim means that you cannot sue Chase for any of the claims covered by the release. If you meet the Class definition, unless you opt out of the Settlement, you will be bound by the release, even if you do not submit a Claim Form for a monetary award.Back To Top
Each Class Member may be eligible for a monetary award from either the Settlement Fund or Diversity and Reserve Fund.
In order to receive a monetary award, Class Members must fill out and submit a Claim Form, along with IRS Forms W-4 and W-9. Class Members can choose to submit either (1) a Simple Claim Form, in order to get an Expedited Monetary Award, or (2) a Detailed Claim Form, if they want the option of an individualized assessment of their race discrimination claims.
The Simple Claim Form is short and requires limited information. If the Settlement is approved and you submit the Simple Claim Form by the Claims Submission Deadline that will be set by the Court, you will be issued an Expedited Monetary Award check within 45 days after the Claims Submission Deadline. The Expedited Monetary Award will be based on the following objective factors: (i) Chase Length of Service (“LOS”) and (ii) period of employment as a Settlement Class Member within the Class Period. You will not receive an individualized assessment of your claim.
The Detailed Claim Form is longer and requires more information about your claims and employment at Chase. The Detailed Claim Form shall be completed in its entirety, including responding to questions seeking evidence of alleged (a) race discrimination, (b) financial losses, and (c) any emotional distress. In order to seek financial recovery for any period after your employment with Chase, you must submit documentary evidence of post-Chase income and work history. In addition, in order to seek financial recovery for alleged emotional distress, you must complete the section of the Claim Form regarding emotional distress and may submit any additional documentation you deem appropriate.
If you submit a Detailed Claim Form, you will receive an Election Form along with a notice of the amount of the Expedited Monetary Award you would receive based on the objective factors described above. You must then elect whether to accept the Expedited Monetary Award or proceed to an individualized assessment of your legal claims by one or more qualified Neutrals. If you return the Election Form and elect to accept the Expedited Monetary Award, you will be sent a check within 21 days of returning the Election Form. If you reject the Expedited Monetary Award and elect an individual assessment, you will have an opportunity to meet with the Neutral(s) for up to 75 minutes, via internet video-conference or in person at the Chicago offices of Class Counsel, in order to present aspects of your claims and answer questions from the Neutral(s). If you wish to attend the interview in person but cannot afford to travel to the interview, you may submit a request for a travel advance against any monetary award. After all interviews have been completed, the Neutral(s) will then assess your claim and recommend a monetary award based on all available information and the individual facts and circumstances of your claim. There is no guarantee as to the amount of this monetary award.
You may receive more or less than the Expedited Monetary Award, or you may receive no award, depending on your claim and losses.
Class Counsel will be available to assist Settlement Class Members in the claims resolution process and will ensure an attorney is present at all Neutral Interviews. You may also retain your own attorney to assist you in this process, at your own expense. If you file the Detailed Claim Form and elect an individualized assessment, the Neutral(s) may consider any attorneys’ fees you incurred in deciding what monetary award, if any, is appropriate.
All monetary awards will be reviewed and approved by a Neutral Administrator appointed by the Court to make sure they are fair and consistent. You will not have a right to challenge the allocation and distribution of the Settlement Funds determined by the claims resolution process and approved by the Neutral Administrator. All monetary awards are final, binding, confidential, and non-appealable.Back To Top
Yes, any award you receive from the Settlement Funds will have tax consequences for you. The Neutral Administrator will be responsible for allocating any monetary payments appropriately between different types of damages (e.g., wage/non-wage income). The Claims Administrator will be responsible for withholding, remitting, and reporting each Claimant’s share of payroll tax withholding from the Settlement Fund. Chase will be responsible for paying Chase’s share of taxes and costs, including FICA, FUTA, SUTA, and Medicare, which will not be paid from either the Settlement Fund or Diversity and Reserve Fund. Other than Chase’s responsibility for the employer’s share of payroll taxes, Chase has no withholding, reporting, or any other tax reporting or payment responsibilities, and the Claims Administrator shall indemnify Chase for any tax liability, damages, or penalties arising out of the Claims Administrator’s performance of any duties required by the Settlement Agreement.
Class Counsel are not tax advisors and cannot give you advice on any tax matters. Class Counsel urge you to consult your tax advisor for answers to any questions you may have about the tax implications of any potential award. Chase makes and has made no representations as to the taxability of any portion of any award you receive from the Settlement Funds.Back To Top
As a Class Member, you are represented in this litigation by Class Counsel:
|Linda D. Friedman
Suzanne E. Bish
George S. Robot
Stowell & Friedman, Ltd.
303 W. Madison Street, Suite 2600
Chicago, IL 60606-3395
Unless you elect to opt out of the Settlement, you will continue to be represented by Class Counsel in connection with implementation of the Settlement at no cost to you. Although it is not necessary, you may, if you wish, retain your own attorney at your own expense.Back To Top
Class Counsel have pursued these claims on behalf of the Named Plaintiffs and the Class without receiving any compensation for their services or reimbursement of the expenses they incurred. If you are a Class Member and receive an award from the Settlement Funds, you will not owe any fees or expenses to the lawyers who have represented you as part of the Settlement Class. Class Counsel will ask the Court to award them attorneys’ fees of not more than 24.44% of the Qualified Settlement Fund, or $5,500,000.00, plus reimbursement of their reasonable expenses. The Court will decide how much to award Class Counsel for fees and expenses, which will be paid from the Settlement Funds.Back To Top
As a Class Member, you have also been represented in this litigation by Named Plaintiffs Jerome Senegal, Erika Williams, Brent Griffin, Irvin Nash, Amanda Jason, and Kellie Farrish. The Named Plaintiffs may participate in the Settlement claims process just like any other Settlement Class Member. In addition, Class Counsel will ask the Court to grant Service Awards of $150,000.00 for each of the Named Plaintiffs. This recognizes the benefits the Named Plaintiffs achieved for the Class, the risks they faced in bringing the case, and the time they spent pursuing it.Back To Top
The Final Approval Hearing on the Settlement will be held December 18, 2018, at 10:30 a.m., in the courtroom of the Honorable Judge Manish S. Shah, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60604. At this hearing, the Court will determine whether the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and whether it should be approved. The Court will also consider the amount of fees and expenses to award to Class Counsel, the amount of the service awards to grant to the Named Plaintiffs, and whether, in accordance with the Settlement, an order and judgment should be entered bringing the lawsuit to an end.Back To Top
No. You are not required to come to the hearing, but you are welcome to come at your own expense. Class Counsel will appear at the Final Approval Hearing on behalf of all Settlement Class Members, at no cost to you. If you file an objection, you may but do not have to come to court to talk about it. As long as you did not opt out and you filed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also hire a lawyer to attend for you, but it is not necessary. If the Court gives final approval to this Settlement, the Court’s judgment will be final and binding on all Class Members who have not timely opted out.Back To Top
If you have further questions or still are not sure whether you are included in the Class, you can get free help by calling the Claims Administrator at 1-877-393-1068 or by calling or writing to Class Counsel in this case at the contact number/address listed above in FAQ 9.
For further information, the complete terms of the Settlement Agreement, the Claim Forms, and numerous other documents connected with the Settlement are available on the Important Documents page.
PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR CONTACT THE COURT, THE OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT, OR CHASE WITH QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS SETTLEMENT.Back To Top