Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho, along with co-counsel Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel LLP in Pittsburgh, PA, represent approximately 106 Business Development Representatives (“BDRs”) employed by paint manufacturer PPG Industries, Inc. or its predecessor, Akzo Nobel Paints LLC (collectively, “PPG”). The BDRs (now known as “Territory Managers”) were employed by PPG to travel to Home Depot stores and assist with the merchandising of PPG’s paint products and the sale of those products by Home Depot. The case alleges that BDRs were misclassified as exempt from the California and federal overtime laws, and are owed unpaid overtime wages, as well as relief for other wage-related violations. The lawsuit was filed on September 3, 2013, in the federal district court for the Northern District of California. The operative Complaint setting forth the BDRs’ claims is available here.
On October 2, 2015, the Representative Plaintiffs and PPG entered into a detailed Settlement Agreement, which is available here. Under the Settlement Agreement, PPG will pay a total of $5 million to settle the BDRs’ claims. Individual settlement allocations are based primarily on length of tenure in the job during the relevant period and whether the individual worked in California or outside of California.
The Court granted Preliminary Approval of the Settlement on October 16, 2015 (available here), and authorized the mailing of the Settlement Notice (available here).
Eligible BDRs in California who have not already affirmatively joined the case will be mailed a Settlement Notice. If eligible BDRs in California do not opt out, they will automatically receive a Settlement Payment (assuming the Court grants Final Approval of the Settlement). BDRs who affirmatively joined the case during the “opt-in” period (which ended in 2014) will also automatically receive a settlement payment (again, assuming the Court grants final approval of the Settlement).
After the Notice has been distributed, the Court will hold a final fairness hearing to decide whether to grant final approval to the Settlement. If the Court grants final approval, we expect that settlement payments will be distributed in approximately early February, although delays are possible.
January 6, 2016 Update: Final Approval Granted. On January 6, 2016, the Court granted final approval of the Settlement. The Court’s Order is available here