GENERAL BAR DATE INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYEES OF MCCLATCHY COMPANIES IN BANKRUPTCY REPRESENTED BY THE NEWSGUILD- CWA
Almost every bankruptcy case includes establishment of a “bar date,” which is the deadline for identifying monetary claims against the company. Here, the Bankruptcy Court has approved the Motion of the McClatchy Companies to set a bar date of July 10, 2020 at 5 p.m. (Eastern) for filing Proof of Claim forms. These claims include grievances, arbitration awards and lawsuits that occurred prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petitions on February 13, 2020, covering events or actions occurring, at least in part, before that date even if the complaint was filed later.
Employees may have received or may in the future receive a notice about the bar date in the mail, or they be given a notice about the bar date from management or see a notice in the newspaper. Such Proof of Claim forms – if and only if required by the Bar Date Order– must be received at the addresses and in the manner provided in the Claim Form Notice, before 5 p.m. (Eastern) on July 10, 2020.
Fortunately, the bar date notice has a MAJOR EXCEPTION for ordinary course employee compensation claims that were authorized for payment by an order of the Bankruptcy Court early in the bankruptcy proceeding (Paragraph 5 (i) of the Bar Date Notice). Therefore, a Proof of Claim form DOES NOT HAVE TO BE FILED for claims for wages, salaries, vacation, benefits or other similar compensation. However, there is no exception for grievances, arbitration awards or lawsuits, including those that arise under a collective bargaining agreement or otherwise.
The NewsGuild-CWA will file a proof of claim for all grievances, arbitration awards, unfair labor practices and lawsuits, if any, arising under the collective bargaining agreements with McClatchy. Employees IMMEDIATELY should make sure that the Guild is aware of any grievances concerning actions that took place before the Petition Date, February 13, 2020. Again, this information and any supporting documentation should be provided to your Guild representative as soon as possible. A list of all such claims, including supporting documentation, will be collected by the Guild and must be received by June 24 in order to provide sufficient time for processing and filing the Proof of Claim forms in advance of the July 10, 2020 deadline. Of course, if an employee wants to file a Proof of Claim form they may do so.
NOTE: Employees or former employees who have claims that do NOT arise under the collective bargaining agreement, including workers’ compensation claims, discrimination claims, or any personal lawsuits, should strongly consider filing an individual Proof of Claim because claims of this type will NOT be included in any proof of claim filed by the Guild. Observe and comply with all the requirements and time deadlines in the Bar Date Notice. Employees who have an attorney on any such matter should discuss the bar date and the Proof of Claim filing requirements with that attorney.
Please contact your Guild representative if you have questions about the bar date.