February 8, 2019

Consumer News Independent Contractor Misclassification

Flowers Foods Distributors in Maine Win Class Certification

February 8, 2019 – Last month, distributors of bakery products for Flowers Foods, Inc., and its Maine subsidiary LePage Bakeries, won class certification in their ongoing wage and hour case against the company. The decision affects more than 100 distributors in Maine and is one of several cases across the country in which distributor-drivers are challenging their misclassification as independent contractors. Wanta Thome PLC is Lead Class Counsel in this lawsuit, as well as others in North Carolina, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Vermont and other New England states.

Noll et al. v. Flowers Foods, Inc. et al. is a class action lawsuit venued in Maine and brought on behalf of a class of individuals who operate(d) as fresh bakery product distributors for Defendants Flowers Foods, Inc. and LePage Bakeries. The companies jointly employ “distributors” to deliver bakery and snack food to their customers, which includes grocery stores, mass retailers, and fast food chains. This action challenges both the classification of distributors as independent contractors and Defendants’ denial to Plaintiffs and the class members of the rights, obligations, privileges, and benefits owed to them as employees (including overtime and other benefits.) Plaintiffs allege violations of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and related state laws.

In its order, The United States District Court for the District of Maine held that Maine distributors who worked for Flowers Foods and its subsidiaries will have an opportunity to join the lawsuit, which challenges their classification by the company as independent contractors, rather than employees.

Firm partner Shawn Wanta, Lead Class Counsel for the lawsuit, was cited in the Portland Press Herald concerning the importance of the court’s decision. Click here to read more.

For questions about this lawsuit, or for questions about independent contractor misclassification, contact our class action attorneys. Wanta Thome PLC has represented hundreds of workers and recovered millions of dollars in class action lawsuits alleging misclassification of independent contractors.