A putative class of delivery truck drivers has filed a collective action FLSA lawsuit against Bimbo Bakeries, alleging a failure to pay overtime. The case is entitled Oddo et al. v. Bimbo Bakeries U.S.A. Inc. and was filed in federal court in the District of New Jersey. The plaintiffs will seek conditional certification and try to get the ability to send opt-in notices to affected employees.
The plaintiffs claim that by paying drivers a flat rate of $110 per week plus 12% commission on sales, the Company violated both federal and state law.
The Complaint alleges that the “plaintiffs assert that defendants failed to pay named plaintiffs and those similarly situated proper overtime compensation and failed to implement a system to track the number of hours worked each work week.” The Complaint contends that the drivers, titled “route sales representatives,” could not improve their commissions since they had no sales training and “the amount of sales that named plaintiffs made to a retailer along their delivery routes was mainly determined by the volume of the retailer’s sales to its customers since named plaintiffs’ last delivery.”
There have been many other FLSA lawsuits against this Company, which is a multinational bakery company based in Mexico; the Company owns several brands, including Sara Lee, Entenmann’s and Thomas’. The Company has also settled several cases with fairly large dollar payouts over the last six years. By contrast, the class here is no more than forty employees (if they all opt in).
Overtime cannot be waived nor can it be paid through compensation arrangements which, although fair or even generous, do not comply with the law. The employer here must either keep employees to forty hours or less or pay them overtime.
There are legal ways to pay overtime and yet not experience an increase in labor costs. This Company must examine any number of procedures for effecting compliance and still being efficient and profitable. They do exist!
I believe the Company can do it…