October 20, 2020
Current and former Franklin Baking Co., LLC (“Franklin”) distributors have sued Flowers Foods, Inc. and Franklin (collectively “Defendants”) alleging that Defendants misclassified them as independent contractors and violated federal as well as North Carolina wage laws. The Defendants deny those allegations, but have agreed to settle the lawsuit.
The Court did not decide in favor of the distributors or Defendants. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and the people affected will have a chance to receive compensation and the changes to Franklin’s distributor program. The Class Representatives and their lawyers think the settlement is best for all Settlement Class Members.
The Court has preliminarily approved the settlement and will hold a hearing, called a Fairness Hearing, to decide whether to give final approval to the settlement. At the hearing, the Court also will consider the award of legal fees to Class Counsel and the request for service payments to the Class Representatives.
The Court has scheduled the Fairness Hearing for December 29, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. at the United States courthouse at 413 Middle Street, New Bern, NC 28560. The date, time or place of the hearing may change; contact Class Counsel to confirm the date and time if you are planning to attend the hearing.
If approved by the Court, the settlement will provide a fund of approximately $5,400,000.00 to pay claims for those individuals who were, or are, Franklin distributors working in North Carolina between December 1, 2013 and May 21, 2019 and who do not exclude themselves from the settlement.
Please read the full settlement agreement linked below for complete details of the settlement.