Motion for PAGA Approval (Judge Lon Hurwitz)

Having reviewed the proposed Settlement Agreement, the proposed Notice and the accompanying papers, the Court has the following concerns:

  1. Are there any other representative or class actions in any other courts that assert claims similar to those alleged? (See Guidelines for PAGA Settlements No. 10.)
  2. The LWDA letter sent February 24, 2021 (Ex. 1 to Sirmabekian Decl.) does not include claims for Failure to Pay All Hours Worked under Labor Code § 1198 (COA 2) or Illegal Deductions from Wages under Labor Code § 2802 (COA 9). Why should these claims be settled and released?
  3. No claim valuation was provided. Please provide the estimated maximum value of the claims being settled, the reasonable settlement value, how much the claims were discounted for settlement purposes, and reasons for discounts.
  4. Please provide a rough breakdown of attorney hours spent on the various categories of activities and calculate the lodestar. Copies of billing records are not necessary.
  5. The court has concerns with the aggrieved employees being responsible for all taxes. Will the employer issue an IRS Form 1099 for the individual settlement payments? If not, why not?
  6. The Release includes claims under Labor Code §§ 206.5, 210, 223, 224, and 225.5, which are not claimed in the LWDA letter or pleaded in the Complaint. Please remove these claims from the Release in the Settlement Agreement and Notice or provide an explanation as to why they should be included.
  7. Please provide proof of service of the settlement agreement on the LWDA.
  8. The following need to be addressed in the Proposed Order and Judgment so that the allegedly aggrieved employees have a fuller understanding of the essential terms and consequences of the settlement:
  9. The Settlement Agreement needs to be referenced in the Judgment by the ROA number of the declaration to which it is attached.
  10. A copy of the Notice must be attached to the Judgment as Exhibit 1.
  11. A proposed date for the final accounting hearing must be included in the Proposed Judgment.
  12. The Judgment needs to instruct the Plaintiff to submit a copy of the Judgment to the LWDA within ten calendar days after entry of the Judgment.
  13. The Judgment needs to indicate that the court will retain jurisdiction pursuant to CCP §664.6.

The hearing on this Motion for Approval of PAGA Settlement and the Status Conference are continued to April 28, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. in Department CX103. It is not necessary for the parties to resubmit briefing which has already been filed with the Court. Supplemental declarations or other supplemental materials addressing the identified issues shall be filed no later than 9 court days prior to the continued hearing date. If a revised settlement agreement is submitted, a redlined version showing all changes, deletions, and additions must also be submitted electronically to the court.

The court does not require any physical or remote appearance at the hearing scheduled for January 6, 2023.