Recently, a court-authorized Notice and a Consent to Join form was mailed to former Hershey employees, age 40 or over, who worked as Customer Sales Executives or Category Development Managers who were involuntarily terminated on or after January 1, 2009, in the case of Barnes vs. The Hershey Company (CV-01334-CRB (NC)). This case was brought by three former Hershey executives over 40 seeking to hold Hershey accountable for being wrongfully terminated due to age discrimination which is a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The Notice sets May 3, 2013 as the deadline to join.
Many of the wrongfully terminated for CSEs and CDMs have signed a Severance Release which purports to give up claims.
A question you may have is whether the Severance Agreement containing a release signed by many is a BAR to joining the suit.
The Answer is a resounding NO.
If you previously signed a Severance Agreement or Release, you are still eligible to join this case.
Of the current Plaintiffs, two had signed severance agreements containing releases. In 2012, Hershey filed a motion with the Court seeking to have the claims of two of the three plaintiffs dismissed based on releases signed by them. The Court denied Hershey’s request to dismiss, ruling that Hershey had not met its burden of showing that legal releases signed by the plaintiffs were valid under federal law. In coming to this decision, the Court correctly gave a broad reading to the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA).
The Brandi Law Firm has successfully represented, along with Attorney David Feola, Hershey RSRs in a FLSA collective action for failure to pay overtime, and currently represent over 150 RSRs seeking overtime benefits stemming from Hershey continually not complying with the law as well as the former CSEs and CDMs in this case.
If you wish further information or would like to join this action to protect your rights when you were wrongfully terminated by Hershey contact Brian Malloy at the Brandi Law Firm at 800-481-1615 (firstname.lastname@example.org).