What is the latest update?Last updated: March 28, 2016 at 17:28 pm
The parties have reached a potential resolution of the action, subject to court approval. Class members will likely be receiving notice of the settlement by mail in the coming months. The approval process is slow. Generally, the first step is that the court must grant “preliminary” approval of the settlement. After that, the class members are sent notice of the settlement and given the chance to make a claim (or opt out of or object to the settlement). Once the class gets notice, the court must grant “final” approval of the settlement, after which settlement proceeds are sent to class members who make a claim. The process described in this paragraph is how the approval of a class action settlement generally works. The parties to this case have not yet hashed out all of the details of the settlement, so the procedures may differ slightly. Please be patient, as the procedure could take several months (perhaps between 6 and 12 months). In the meantime, you can direct your questions to Strauss & Strauss, APC or the Hathaway Law Firm. Also, if you have moved, please *CALL US at 805-641-6601* with your new contact information.
Previously, the parties filed cross motions for summary judgment and Ecolab filed a motion to decertify the class. The court ruled on the motions on September 28, 2015, granting Plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment and denying Ecolab’s motions for summary judgment and for decertification of the class action. THIS IS A COMPREHENSIVE VICTORY FOR THE PLAINTIFFS AND OTHER ROUTE SALES MANAGERS IN CALIFORNIA, BECAUSE ECOLAB’S MAIN DEFENSES HAVE BEEN KNOCKED OUT AND THE CASE WILL CONTINUE AS A CLASS ACTION. The decision is below:
What is the case about?
On December 21, 2009, plaintiff James Icard filed a Class Action Complaint in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco, entitled James Icard v. Ecolab, Inc. and Does 1 through 100, inclusive, designated as Case No. CGC-09-495344. The case seeks unpaid overtime for Route Managers and/or Route Sales Managers who have worked in California, do not cross state lines in the performance of their duties, and have not received full and correct pay for all hours worked and have not received accurate paycheck stubs. ON MAY 25, 2012, THE COURT CERTIFIED THE CASE AS A CLASS ACTION.
The parties engaged in court-ordered mediation on August 8, 2014; the case did not resolve.
Below are some questions concerning this case. If you have additional questions or comments, please use the comments form at the bottom of the page. We review all comments before publishing them to the website.
What is the status of the case?
On December 29, 2009, Defendant was served with the Summons and Complaint.
On January 28, 2010, Defendant, through its counsel, removed this action to the United States District Court, Northern District of California, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. sections 1332 and 1441.
On February 2, 2010, Defendant filed an Answer and a Motion to Dismiss the matter.
On March 23, 2010, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint.
On June 18, 2010, the federal court remanded the case back to state court.
On June 30, 2011, Defendant once again removed this action to the United States District Court, Northern District of California.
On September 30, 2011, the federal court once again remanded the case back to state court.
On or about October 13, 2011, Defendant petitioned the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal for an appeal of the remand order. The Ninth Circuit has not yet granted the petition to appeal. The case, therefore, is still pending in California state court.
On May 25, 2012, the state court certified this case as a class action.
In January of 2013, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Summary Adjudication seeking to dispose of Ecolab’s hazardous materials exemption defense (“haz/mat”). At the same time, Ecolab filed its own summary judgment motion. The parties’ summary judgment and adjudication motions were continued several times, for various procedural reasons.
On August 20, 2013, the court substituted plaintiffs Magee and Ross as class representatives in the case.
In September of 2013, the court DENIED Ecolab’s summary judgment motion. The court asked for additional briefing before ruling on Plaintiff’s summary adjudication motion.
On or about October 31, 2013, Defendant removed the action to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division (i.e., to federal court). The federal court case number is now 4:13-cv-05097-PJH.
Plaintiffs filed a Third Amended Complaint in the action on April 4, 2014, adding a claim against Ecolab for additional civil penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (called the “PAGA”).
The federal court ordered the parties to participate in mediation on or before July 29, 2014 (later continued to August 8, 2014). The mediation took place on August 8, 2014; the case did not resolve.
Trial is not yet set.
Who is affected by the case?
The suit seeks unpaid wages for all non-exempt Route Managers and/or Route Sales Managers who have worked in California within four years of the filing of the original complaint, do not cross state lines in the performance of their duties, and have not received full and correct pay for all hours worked and have not received accurate paycheck stubs. The wages sought include, but may not be limited to, unpaid overtime.
What types of damages does Plaintiff seek?
Plaintiffs seek damages for unpaid wages for hours worked (possibly including overtime hours) from on or about December 21, 2005 through the present. They also seek various penalties available under the California Labor Code. Those penalties include a penalty under Labor Code section 226 for providing inaccurate paycheck stubs. Finally, Plaintiffs seek civil penalties under the Labor Code Private Attorneys’ General Act of 2004.
How does the settlement in the Clark v. Ecolab, Inc. case affect this case?
If you were a member of the settlement class in Clark v. Ecolab, Inc., case number 07-CIV-8623 in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York and you did not opt out of the settlement, then you would not be affected by the Icard case. If, however, you opted out of the Clark matter and were otherwise not a part of that settlement, then you could be a member of this new putative class action.
How do I get involved?
You may contact Plaintiff’s counsel, Strauss & Strauss, APC, directly by using the contact form on this page. You may also call Strauss & Strauss, APC at (805) 641-6601.