FRESNO – A number of union employees from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) were granted preliminary approval of a class action settlement in an unopposed motion in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California before Magistrate Judge Erica Grosjean.
The plaintiffs heading the class include Becky Greer, Timothy C. Budnik, Rosario Saenz, Ian Carty, Haley Markwith, and Marcia Garcia Pesina, who have filed a suit against PG&E and IBEW Local 1245 over underpayment of wages.
When the suit was initially filed, PG&E had seven claim counts against them and one against IBEW. The parties came to an agreement on Dec. 21, 2016, to drop an individual claim against PG&E for an alleged violation of California’s Business and Professions Code.
Both parties were a part of four settlement conferences that concluded in a mediator’s proposal that was accepted by both the plaintiff and the defendant. This allows for three groups to be established for the class.
The motion before the court in this case refers to an order to conditionally certify the settlement class, a preliminary approval of a joint stipulation of class settlement, the appointment of the class representatives and counsel, approving and directing the mailing of settlement notices, and the scheduling of a fairness hearing, according to the court order by Grosjean.
Grosjean also certified the class according to Rule 23 and verified counsel which includes Fitzpatrick, Spini & Swanson, and Wanger Jones Helsley PC. All of the plaintiffs in the case were named as the class representatives by Grosjean, and the notice of settlement process was approved. Simpluris Inc. was named the claims administrator.
According to the court order, Grosjean called the proposed settlement “fair, adequate, and reasonable.” The judge also provided notice that the parties have 14 days in which to submit a revised first notice that is consistent with the approved and signed order.
The implementation schedule was also adopted for the case as well as a final hearing date set for Oct 26.