Martinez v. Flowers Foods, Inc. (Flowers South)

Case No.: 2:15-cv-5112-RGK-E

U.S. Federal District Court- Central District

Attorneys: Peter Rukin, Valerie Brender

We have filed a class action lawsuit against Flowers Foods and its subsidiaries in Southern California on behalf of Flowers Southern California distributors who personally work their Flowers routes. The lawsuit claims that while Flowers classifies distributors as independent contractors, it treats distributors like employees under California law. The Complaint alleges that distributors were required to pay for various expenses such as their vehicles, gas, and maintenance, and cell phones, among other items.  Flowers also made deductions from distributors’ wages for their handheld computers, administration fees, shrink, and stale.  Furthermore, Distributors were not separately compensated for rest breaks, and Plaintiffs allege that Flowers did not authorize and permit meal and rest breaks.  As a result, Plaintiffs assert that Flowers is liable for unreimbursed expenses and deductions, meal and rest breaks, and penalties.

See the complaint here.

Case updates

Court Denies Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification: On February 1, 2016, the Court denied Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. The Court determined that while “Defendants very well could have governed some drivers with an iron fist,” the question of control was not amenable to class-wide proof.