Utz elects to settle wage lawsuit
April 4, 2017
by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
HANOVER, Pa. – Utz Quality Foods, LLC decided to settle a lawsuit launched by former sales associates who challenged the company’s compensation for route sales professionals.
In a statement, the company cited legal fees and management time incurred defending the lawsuit as reasons for electing to settle out of court. Utz said the company has vigorously defended its legal position in the case over the past two years.
“We were fully prepared to try this case with a jury in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and we fully expected to have been vindicated,” said Dylan Lissette, CEO of Utz. “However, when we budgeted how much it would cost us to take the case to trial, we realized that it would have cost us considerably more in legal fees than the amount we could settle the case for even though we fully believed we would prevail.”
The company noted that Utz will not be required to change its business practices or change its route sales compensation system. The lawsuit claimed that route sales professionals did not qualify as outside salespersons under federal wage laws. The settlement is subject to court approval.
Utz Quality Foods is a privately held, family managed salty snack company that produces a full line of products including pork skins, cheese snacks, popcorn and other snacks. The company operates 11 facilities located in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Alabama and Florida.