Court Grants Class Certification in ERISA Class Action: Shuman v. Microchip et al.

On February 24, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California certified a class of more than 200 former employees of defendant Microchip Technology Inc., who alleged that Microchip violated its fiduciary duties under ERISA by refusing to pay the severance it owed to class members whom Microchip fired without cause after completing its merger with their former employer, and further, by falsely asserting that the severance plan had “expired” six months earlier and by using those false assertions as a basis for inducing class members to release their ERISA benefits claims. 

The district court’s class certification order entitles the class members to join together in pursuing their claims for unpaid severance benefits, to enjoin Microchip’s wrongfully obtained releases, and to recover as an “equitable surcharge” the profits that Microchip earned on the roughly $6 million that it withheld from the class members.  Altshuler Berzon LLP is serving as class counsel along with the firms of McGuinn, Hillsman & Palefsky and the Law Offices of William B. Reilly.