Snyder's-Lance to pay up to $1.6M to settle overtime suit
Snyder's-Lance could pay up to $1.6 million to settle a wage-related class-action lawsuit filed by its distributors, a federal judge ruled last week.
The lawsuit started in July 2016, when a group of drivers from the North Carolina-based snack-maker's Tennessee operations filed a complaint alleging Snyder's-Lance unfairly classified them as independent contractors.
The company, the suit alleged, used that classification as an excuse to skirt federal overtime and minimum wage laws when paying its distributors.
About 110 drivers had opted in to the collective-action lawsuit before it went to mediation this past spring. The drivers and the company ultimately agreed to a settlement in which Snyder's-Lance will pay out a maximum of $1.6 million, including about $558,000 in fees and expenses for the attorneys representing the drivers.
U.S. Middle District Court Judge Judge John Jones III approved the settlement Nov. 15.
The drivers were represented by Montgomery County-based Winebrake & Santillo and Tennessee-based Woolf, McClane, Bright, Allen & Carpenter.
A representative from Snyder's-Lance could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.
Hanover-based Utz Quality Foods settled a similar, $2.5 million overtime lawsuit this past April.