Delivery Drivers or distributors of Tastykake baked goods have just resolved allegations of unpaid wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Tastykake has agreed to pay these delivery drivers $3.15 million to resolve class action claims that they were misclassified as independent contractors and denied the proper overtime pay. More than 200 class members who worked for the company in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey stand to benefit from this payout.
Tastykake, which has numerous warehouses stocked with fresh baked products, hired distributors as independent contractors that functioned as delivery drivers to deliver and stock their products at its retailer customer locations. The class action lawsuit argued that these drivers should have been paid hourly and overtime as employees of the company instead of their complicated pay structure as independent contractors when working over 40 hours per work week. The distributors alleged that Tastykake exerted substantial control over the most basic aspects of their work even going as far as prohibiting them delivering competitors’ food products. This extensive level of control over their work should cause them to be classified as employees of Tastykake with eligibility for overtime pay under the FLSA instead of independent contractors entitled to much less benefits.
Independent contractor misclassifications are actually a common issue in this industry. Business often purposefully misclassify workers in order to cut labor costs saving them on overtime pay and employee benefits. If you feel you may be wrongfully classified as an independent contractor, schedule your free and confidential consultation with our firm, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, today at (212) 300-0375 or visit our website here for additional information regarding your employment rights.