Los Angeles (August 24, 2005) --- Thousands of Screen Actors Guild members who worked in California may be entitled to monies stemming from the “Greenberg Class Action” lawsuit that seeks damages from a number of payroll houses, studios, and production companies for alleged violations of certain provisions of the California Labor Code. The Guild, which is not involved in the lawsuit, has established a hotline recording to help answer questions that members may have in their effort to recoup possible damages.
Many SAG members are receiving notices in the mail regarding a class action settlement—the case is officially known as Bill Greenberg, et al., vs. E.P. Management Services—that is pending in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The lawsuit relates to issues with the timing of payments and the information on pay stubs used by major payroll houses and the studios, and it appears that many thousands of members across the country have received these notices, in addition to many thousands of other industry employees.
The Legal Department’s “Greenberg Class Action” hotline number is: (323) 549-6663.
The hotline message to members says:
This message has been issued to provide you with some general information to help you in evaluating how to proceed. Because this is a matter outside the Guild’s jurisdiction, we are unable to offer specific advice regarding your options, including your individual decision as to whether you should submit a claim.
We recommend that you carefully review the notice you received from the Greenberg Claims Administrator as it has important information regarding how this settlement may affect your rights. You may also visit the website listed in the notice you received – www.motionpicturesettlement.com -- which contains copies of various documents related to the case. A toll free number has also been set up to provide further information – (866) 686-8704.
The Greenberg Settlement combines 14 separate lawsuits which sought damages from a number of payroll houses, studios, and production companies for alleged violations of certain provisions of the Labor Code. The issues addressed by the lawsuits include whether all legally required information was included on paystubs, and whether payment of wages was made on time when employees' work for the employer ended. The defendants have denied that they have done anything wrong, but have agreed to settle the case through payment of money and changes in their practices. It is worth noting that you might qualify under the settlement whether or not you were paid properly. Please review the claim documents to determine if you are a member of either settlement class.
There are 3 different claim forms, depending on the wages you earned between September 1, 1996 and October 8, 2005, which is the period of time at issue in the litigation. You will need to determine your total wages earned during this period so far and fill out the appropriate section. It also asks that you provide documentation in the form of W-2s or Social Security records. Please note that printouts received from the Guild will not be considered adequate proof for purposes of the settlement. The notice documents will provide you with specific instructions on how to make a claim or how to opt out of the settlement, as well as how to request copies of your social security earnings statements if you do not already have copies of those records. For work performed this year, you may submit copies of your pay stubs in lieu of W-2s or social security records. As privacy is always a concern for our members, we have sought and received reassurance that any information you submit will be properly protected.
Please read the notice carefully as it has important information regarding how this settlement may affect your rights. The Guild does not believe this affects any of your rights under the SAG collective bargaining agreements. Nothing about this settlement should have any effect on your right to receive residuals, or any other payments required under the SAG agreements. Although the settlement requires you to waive certain potential claims, such as wage claims under California law, the time for separately bringing many of those claims may have already passed.
For additional information, please visit the website listed in the notice you received – www.motionpicturesettlement.com. A toll free number has also been set up to provide further information – (866) 686.8704.
The Guild will continue to update this message as new information is received or new questions are raised.