In the last couple months, IBEW 1245 has received numerous messages from concerned members regarding what, if anything, should be done in response to the PG&E Chapter 11 bankruptcy “proof of claim” forms that the Company has sent by mail to current employees and retirees, among others. After consultation with our bankruptcy attorneys, we have the following important information and instructions:
- Current employees and retirees of PG&E do not need to do anything to protect their rights established under IBEW 1245’s collective bargaining agreements. IBEW 1245 will file a collective proof of claims on behalf of all current employees, as well as any retiree who has made less than $250,000 in gross income during the one-year period between January 29, 2018 and January 29, 2019. This collective proof of claims will preserve any and all rights set forth in IBEW 1245’s collective bargaining agreements with PG&E, including (but not limited to) grievances, wages, working conditions, letter agreements, and benefits (including the disability benefits we’ve negotiated) for all current employees and retirees. Therefore, no independent action is required from our members or retirees to assert or preserve these rights.
- Retirees of PG&E who have made $250,000 or more in gross income during the one-year period between January 29, 2018 and January 29, 2019 will likely need to file a separate proof of claim form to protect their retirement income. The deadline for filing a proof of claim with the bankruptcy court is October 21, 2019. The proof of claim form and filing instructions can be found here: https://restructuring.primeclerk.com/pge/EPOC-Index.
- A separate proof of claim form must be filed to preserve any legal action initiated (or being considered) against PG&E based on state or federal laws, even if such legal action is connected to one’s employment with PG&E. Such claims would include on-the-job injuries that are being compensated through the California workers’ compensation system, as well as any legal action for lost wages based on allegations that PG&E has violated the California Labor Code (or some other state or federal wage-and-hour statute). Likewise, any legal action arising outside of the scope of employment with PG&E, including for damages that have occurred as the result of a wildfire, will need to be asserted in a separate proof of claim form. If you believe you have any such legal claim against PG&E, but are on the fence about whether to pursue it, the safest route would be to file a proof of claim describing that claim, which should preserve your right to initiate the action after the October 21, 2019 deadline (so long as you have abided any other statutory requirements and filing deadlines). Any further questions on this subject should be directed to an outside attorney of your choosing.
- IBEW 1245 will continue to process grievances according to the procedures established within its collective bargaining agreements. This includes the business manager’s grievance that IBEW 1245 filed on behalf of employees working at PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Power Plant concerning the appropriate rate of retention bonus overtime “true-up” pay. While IBEW 1245 believes that arbitration is the proper forum for adjudicating this contractual dispute, we urge any members that might feel otherwise and who are considering some other type of legal action against PG&E to file a proof of claim with the bankruptcy court asserting their claim(s) by the October 21, 2019 deadline.