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$9M Settlement Reached in Wonder Bread Unpaid Overtime Class Action Lawsuit

This is a settlement for the Employment lawsuit.

Santa Clara, CA: A $9 million settlement has been reached in an employment class action brought by distributors for Flowers Foods, Inc., the company behind Wonder Bread and Nature’s Own.

Brought by named plaintiffs Scott Rehberg, Willard Allen Riley and Mario Ronchetti in 2012, the lawsuit alleged that the distributors were misclassified as independent contractors, which effectively denied them protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act. Instead, they assert, they should be classified as employees and entitled to benefits such as overtime.

According to the complaint, the distributors pick up Flowers bakery products from one of 24 warehouses in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia and deliver those products to customers in a defined geographic territory. Further, they also stock Flower’s products on store shelves and assemble promotional displays.

Under the terms of the agreement, which requires final court approval, Flowers will create $5.2 million settlement fund for distribution amongst the plaintiffs. Court papers state the agreement covers approximately 270 distributor territories.

Flowers Foods reportedly has 40 bakeries. In addition to Nature’s Own and Wonder, Flowers’ brands include Whitewheat, Cobblestone Bread Co. and organic baked good brands like Dave’s Killer Bread.

The case is Rehberg et al v. Flowers Foods, Inc et al, case number 3:12-cv-00596, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

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Published on Dec-12-16


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