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Judge approves $350 mln incentive program proposed by PG&E for 10,000 employees

SAN FRANCISCO, April 23 (Reuters) - A judge at a hearing on Tuesday approved a plan by PG&E Corp to pay up to $350 million in bonuses to 10,000 employees to spur them to help meet the bankrupt California power provider's safety goals.

Judge Dennis Montali of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco said he would defer to the decision by PG&E's management that the company needs to implement the bonus plan to carry out tasks such as clearing trees and branches around power lines to avert contact that triggers wildfires.

Montali at a hearing earlier this month had postponed making a decision on whether to approve the bonus plan, saying he needed the San Francisco-based company to better explain how the plan's performance measures would affect payouts.

(Reporting by Jim Christie, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)