In the economy of the day, many people are forced to work long hours. Many companies require them to do so and workers are reluctant to complain for fear of losing their jobs. Not all people are entitled to overtime because certain classifications of workers are exempt. However, sometimes people are classified as exempt from overtime when they are not exempt and should be paid for their labor. This is an area in the law that has involved a great deal of scrutiny as numerous people have challenged classifications as improper and sought compensation for their efforts.
On October 19, 2011, The Hershey Company, a large, well-known chocolate and confection maker, was again sued for violating the overtime rights of its nationwide sales force. The San Francisco based Brandi Law Firm, in conjunction with Colorado attorney David Feola, brought suit on behalf of eleven former and one current Hershey Retail Sales Representatives (“RSRs”) seeking certification of a class of present and former Hershey sales representatives for violations of both the California and federal overtime laws.
This is the second time Hershey has been sued for overtime violations regarding its RSR position by the Brandi Law Firm and Mr. Feola. Previously, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that Hershey had violated federal and California overtime laws by improperly classifying the RSRs as sales persons and administrative employees and not paying them overtime compensation. See Campanelli v. The Hershey Company, 765 F.Supp.2d 1185 (N.D.Cal. February 23, 2011). Since that ruling, unfortunately Hershey has not changed its policies and continues to not pay the RSRs overtime compensation for the many hours over 40 worked per week. Hopefully this case will bring fairness to the workers now and in the future.
A copy of the lawsuit can be found at the website http://www.hersheyovertime.com/