By Laura J. Maechtlen and Brian Wong

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently published guidance for submission of class action settlements for preliminary and final approval. The Court’s guidance, available here, is a helpful chart for employers currently navigating the rocky shoals of class action settlement.

The guidance includes detailed suggestions as to what information the parties should provide in motions for preliminary and final approval, as well as various procedures the court suggests should be best, if not standard, practice moving forward. For example, the guidance suggests that parties secure claims administrators prior to filing for preliminary approval, and provide class notice via website and supplemental email where “feasible.” These practices may be common, but certainly are not universal at present.

Employers facing class actions should be sure to add the Northern District of California’s guidance on class settlement to their litigation tool kits. As the Court is quick to remind, compliant parties will benefit from minimized risk of “unnecessary delay, or even failure, of approval” of their class settlements.