On March 19, 2013, pursuant to a federal court order, Notice and a Consent to Join form is being sent to former Hershey employees, age 40 or over, who worked as Customer Sales Executives or Category Development Managers who were involuntarily terminated on or after January 1, 2009, in the case of Barnes vs. The Hershey Company (CV-01334-CRB (NC). This case was brought by three former Hershey executives over 40 seeking to hold Hershey accountable for being wrongfully terminated due to age discrimination which is a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The executives are Gregory P. Barnes, David C. Bolle, and Mary Wasson, all over 40, all of whom were long-term excellent employees making excellent salaries, and were terminated involuntarily because, they believe, Hershey engaged in an illegal “blocker” policy (this is called “blocking” because older workers are perceived as blocking the progress of younger lower salaried workers).
Recently the court conditionally certified a group action in the Barnes case under the ADEA for Hershey CSEs and CDMs 40 years and older who were involuntarily severed after January 1, 2009.
The Notice states:
Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), Plaintiffs seek payment of lost compensation, in terms of lost salary and benefits, and liquidated damages in an amount equivalent to their lost salary and benefits. Plaintiffs also seek a declaratory judgment, an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, and such other relief as may be just and proper…
The Notice sets May 3, 2013 as the deadline to join.
If you believe you fall within this definition and believe that Hershey terminated you because of your age, you may “Opt-In” to this lawsuit – meaning you may join the lawsuit as a plaintiff. Only those who “Opt-In” will be allowed to participate. To “Opt-In,” you must complete, sign, and mail the Consent to Join form attached to the back of this Notice to Plaintiffs’ Counsel so that it is received on or before May 3, 2013
The Notice also states:
- THE LEGAL EFFECT OF NOT JOINING THIS LAWSUIT
“…if you do not join this lawsuit, you will not recover any proceeds from the lawsuit if Plaintiffs are successful…”
The Notice also states:
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.
The Brandi Law Firm has successfully represented, along with Attorney David Feola, Hershey RSRs in a FLSA collective action for failure to pay overtime, and currently represent over 150 RSRs seeking overtime benefits stemming from Hershey continually not complying with the law.