HANOVER, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In late 2015, a lawsuit was initiated by a small number of former route sales professionals in Ohio who are no longer associated with Utz® Quality Foods, LLC. The lawsuit claimed that Utz’s route sales professionals did not qualify as outside salespersons under the federal wage law. The lawsuit challenged Utz’s compensation system for route sales professionals and sought to change it. After careful consideration, Utz has decided to settle the lawsuit.
For almost 100 years, Utz Quality Foods has had an outstanding group of route sales professionals selling snack food products into retail stores. Without these route sales professionals, Utz Quality Foods would not be as successful as it is today given the tremendous retail sales efforts completed every day.
Over the past two years, Utz Quality Foods has been vigorously defending its legal position in this case, including the route sales commission based compensation system. The company’s defense, however, has cost Utz a great deal of legal fees and management time.
After mutual agreement to meet with a well-regarded mediator in New York City, NY, Utz has elected to settle the case. The settlement will not require Utz to change its business practices or change the route sales professional’s compensation system, of which Utz believes, is both fair and lawful.
"We were fully prepared to try this case with a jury in Harrisburg, PA and we fully expected to have been vindicated. 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," said Dylan Lissette, Chief Executive Officer, Utz Quality Foods, LLC.
With the case settled, subject to court approval, Utz route sales professionals will continue to do what they do so well – selling Utz Quality Foods snack food products into valued retailers every day.
About Utz® Quality Foods, LLC
Founded in 1921, Utz® Quality Foods, LLC is the largest privately-held and family-managed salty snack company in the United States, producing a full line of products including potato chips, pretzels, cheese snacks, corn chips, tortillas, veggie stix/straws, popcorn, onion rings, pork skins and more. Its brands, which include Utz®, Golden Flake®, Zapp’s®, “Dirty”® Potato Chips, Good Health®, Bachman®, Bachman Jax®, Wachusett® and Snikiddy® among others, are distributed nationally and internationally through grocery, mass-merchant, club stores, convenience stores, drug stores and other channels. Based in Hanover, PA, Utz operates 11 facilities located in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Alabama and Florida.
For information about Utz® or its products, please visit www.utzsnacks.com or call 1-800-FOR-SNAX.