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  GARNER CLASS ACTION - How Awards are Calculated

We apologize for any confusion regarding the amount of back pay substitutes have received.

We have created a FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS page.
Please visit: if you have any questions.

Everyone's gross award for the back wages owed from 11/2000 through 6/2005 was reduced by the Court-awarded attorneys fees, costs, General Excise Taxes, and class representatives' stipends. Those amounts totaled approximately 34% of the gross awards. The resulting amount was, under law, your "gross income" (meaning you did not have to pay any taxes on those deductions). We then, as required by law, deducted federal and state taxes, FICA (social security) and Medicare taxes. The federal and state taxes were deducted on a percentage basis for all teachers in accordance with guidance from the IRS. Depending on each person's income in 2014, there may be refunds coming.

Many teachers have questions about how their back pay awards and the resulting individual payments were calculated.  Here is the answer:

1. The gross amount the DOE was liable for was determined person-by-person, paycheck-by-paycheck for each eligible teacher. The amount each person was underpaid varied according to the "class" they were in, the dates they worked, and the payments the DOE actually made in 2000-05. This is the amount shown on the Chart of Partial Settlement Amounts. Only the "Amount Owed" is being awarded at this time. The interest amount is still on appeal. 

2. From the Total Value of Remedy -- $14,672,916.43 (Wages plus Employer's share of FICA & Medicare); cash wages to Class Members $13,978,554.57 -- the following deductions were made:

Total Deductions from the Gross Amount owed: 32.77% based upon Total Value; 34.01% based upon Cash Value.

3. From the gross income amount, the following deductions were made:

  • Federal and State taxes (in the amount approved by the Court consistent with IRS procedures for back pay awards, which called for across the board withholdings of 25% (Federal) and 7.9% (Hawai`i).  These withholdings are likely more than your actual tax liabilities, so you should determine whether you are entitled to a refund in 2015.

  • Employees' shares of FICA (Social Security) and Medicare taxes

All of the withholdings were calculated by qualified experts.