PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania recently gave final approval to a proposed $2.5 million settlement to resolve a class action unpaid overtime lawsuit brought by almost 2,000 current and former delivery drivers and Utz Quality Foods, Inc. Described as “fair and reasonable” by the judge, the settlement will compensate Utz drivers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, and New Jersey who worked for the company between March 2014 and September 2016.
The snackfood company admits no fault through the settlement, effectively avoiding a legal determination on whether the company intentionally misclassified thousands of delivery drivers as overtime exempt to keep wages down and increase company profits. However, Utz could leave itself open to future legal challenges by other drivers not covered in this particular settlement if the company does not make basic changes to pay structures for its delivery drivers.
The class action unpaid overtime lawsuit, originally filed in September 2015 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, claimed that Utz misclassified its drivers as “outside salespersons” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). That classification has traditionally been given to door to door salespersons or other workers who typically travel from one location to another making sales.
Utz attempted to rationalize the classification by asserting that because the delivery drivers also took orders from their location deliveries, these workers technically could be deemed outside salespersons. The drivers, on the other hand, asserted that their primary job duties were transporting product from warehouses to customers and stocking shelves, while taking orders was only a small portion of their overall job duties.
The case is a clear example of the lengths many employers often go to avoid paying employers for all their hard earned wages with creative interpretations of federal law. Fortunately, the plaintiffs in this case received a fair settlement for their claim and will hopefully force the defendant to rethink its business practices and how it compensates drivers.
Delivery Driver Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.