United States Magistrate Judge Bernard Zimmerman has ordered that present and past Retail Sales Representatives (“RSRs”) who worked for The Hershey Company (“Hershey”) are entitled to Notice and the opportunity to join a lawsuit pending in United States District Court in San Francisco for unpaid overtime and related damages. Judge Zimmerman’s Order provides that present and former RSRs who worked for Hershey up to three years prior to January 28, 2012 have until June 30, 2012 to opt into the class matter by filing a Consent to Join.
The Court also noted that no punitive action can be taken against any person joining by Hershey, stating:
VIII. NO RETALIATION OR DISCRIMINATION PERMITTED
Federal and state law prohibits Hershey from taking adverse action against persons based upon the fact that they have exercised their rights to participate in this lawsuit. So if you are presently an RSR, Hershey is barred from retaliating against you for participating in this lawsuit.
Notice and Consent to Join form for RSRs is located here.
For RSRs who worked in California, the Notice and Consent to Join form is located here.
Seventy-five present and former RSRs have joined the action filed in US District Court in San Francisco seeking unpaid overtime from the chocolate giant. Previously, this office successfully represented over 100 RSRs seeking unpaid overtime in a wage and hour FLSA collective action. On February 23, 2011, Judge Zimmerman issued an order holding that the Hershey RSRs who had joined the previous overtime case against Hershey were entitled to overtime compensation. The Court held that the RSRs are not exempt under the “outside sales” or “administrative exemptions” as a matter of law. Shortly thereafter the case was resolved. (See Campanelli vs. Hershey Co., 765 F. Supp 2d 1185 (N.D. Cal. 2011).
Unfortunately, Hershey made no attempt to pay past overtime owed to its current and former RSRs so on October 19, 2011 a second wage and hour FLSA collective action was filed by 12 present and former RSRs by The Brandi Law Firm, in conjunction with Colorado attorney David Feola. Since then these twelve have been joined by over 60 others who filed consents to join. It is estimated upwards of 600 additional present and former RSRs may be eligible to join this case. Effective January 28, 2012, Hershey changed the RSR status to non-exempt and began paying overtime for 7.5 hours per week but made no provisions to pay for the countless unpaid hours worked by current and former RSRs in the last several years. Present and former RSRs can protect their rights by joining this pending matter before June 30, 2012.
For more information go to http://brandilaw.com/more/employment-class-action/