Pennymac Class and Representative Action
Overview Of The Cases
These cases involve claims that PennyMac systematically, and unlawfully, underpays its hourly employees despite their extensive overtime and engages in other unlawful conduct.
The name of the first case, pending in Sacramento Superior Court, is Smigelski v. PennyMac Financial Services, Inc., et al., Case No. 34-2015-00186855. The name of the second case, pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, is Heidrich [and other employees] v. PennyMac Financial Services, Inc., et al, Case No. 2:16-cv-02821.
Pennymac’s Invalid Releases
After the case was filed, PennyMac attempted to obtain releases from a number of employees under false pretenses by claiming that the employees would receive nothing if Smigelski won the case. This was not true. Accordingly, the Sacramento Superior Court invalidated the releases, explaining: “the California Supreme Court has made clear that the penalties go not only to the citizen bringing the suit but to all employees affected by the Labor Code violation.” The Court also required PennyMac “to submit for the Court’s approval any future proposed settlement of the PAGA claims identified in Plaintiff’s complaint.”
The Superior Court also required PennyMac to send a corrective notice to all employees who signed one of the invalid release agreements, informing them that the releases are invalid. A copy of the Superior Court’s order requiring the corrective notice can be found here. A copy of the Superior Court order dictating the language of the corrective notice can be found here.
If you signed a settlement or release with PennyMac and have questions about its validity, you can contact us, Baker Curtis & Schwartz, at 415.433.1064. You can also complete the on-line form on this webpage.
Pennymac’s Unenforceable Arbitration Agreement
Both the California Court of Appeal and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit have also invalidated the arbitration agreements that the Plaintiffs were required to sign as a condition of employment. The decisions invalidating the employees’ arbitration decisions can be found here and here.
If you signed or are asked to sign an arbitration agreement in order to work or continue to work at PennyMac, you can contact us, Baker Curtis & Schwartz, at 415.433.1064. You can also complete the on-line form on this webpage.
Pennymac Employees Beware
Despite the Court’s rulings in this case, it is possible that PennyMac may continue in its effort to prevent employees from challenging PennyMac’s wage and hour practices or participating in these cases. It is also possible that PennyMac may continue in its efforts to convince or require employees to release their claims for less than what they are worth.
Plaintiff’s Ongoing Investigation
If you have information relevant to PennyMac’s unlawful conduct, or if you wish to learn more information about these cases, please contact us, Baker Curtis & Schwartz, at 415.433.1064. You can also complete the on-line form on this webpage.
Pennymac’s Discovery Abuses
Finally, the Superior Court recently sanctioned PennyMac and required PennyMac to respond to certain discovery concerning the allegations that it has unlawfully underpaid its employees and engaged in other unlawful conduct. A copy of this court order is here.
Documents Related To The Case
In addition, a number of the documents relevant to this case are set forth below. We will also update this page from time to time, so check back when you can.
|Operative First Amended Complaint in Smigelski v. PennyMac||March 10, 2016|
|Operative First Amended Complaint in Heidrich v. PennyMac||January 9, 2017|
|Court Order Invalidating Releases and Requiring the Issuance of a Corrective Notice.||March 11, 2016|
|California Court of Appeals Decision Invalidating PennyMac’s Arbitration Agreement||December 19, 2018|
|United States Court of Appeals Decision Invalidating PennyMac’s Arbitration Agreement||February 7, 2020|
|Court Order Dictating the Form of the Corrective Notice||September 27, 2019|
Finally, more information about the Sacramento case can be found on the website of the Sacramento Superior Court at:
The case name and number for the state case is Smigelski v. PennyMac et al., Case No. 34-2015-00186855.
More information about the federal case can be found on the website of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California at:
The case name and number for the federal case is Heidrich et al. v. PennyMac et al., Case No. 2:16-cv-02821.