What is the Case Name?

James Van Den Hende and Fred Schroeder, et al. v. DPI Specialty Foods, Inc., et al., Case No. CIVRS1304516, pending before the San Bernardino County Superior Court

What is the Status of the Case?

The parties have reached a settlement. The court has preliminarily approved the settlement (see the court’s order below). The class members will be sent a notice of settlement that explains the terms of the settlement and how much money they are estimated to receive. The court will hold a hearing to decide whether to grant final approval of the settlement on May 13, 2015. If the court grants final approval, the settlement monies will be distributed, although it is not certain when they will be mailed. It could be as soon as three weeks after the May 13, 2015 hearing, but may be delayed for various reasons.

What are the Claims?

The FIRST CLAIM is that Mr. Van Den Hende and Mr. Schroeder and each of you are owed monies for miles traveled in the execution of your duties as Sales Representatives. This includes miles driven above and beyond any flat rate sum given to you each pay period (whether through a paycheck or gas cards). We believe that California law requires that you be paid these amounts.

The SECOND CLAIM is that Mr. Van Den Hende and Mr. Schroeder and each of you were not paid for any overtime hours worked. We believe that your job duties required you to perform “non-sales related activities” (i.e. stocking, cleaning, facing, crediting out, discarding, unpacking, code-checking, submitting pre-determined orders) more than 50% of the time. If that is true, we believe that you are owed for overtime you worked.

The THIRD CLAIM is that Mr. Van Den Hende and Mr. Schroeder and each of you were deducted commissions on credited items (whether spoiled or otherwise returned through no fault of yours). In essence, DPI made you the insurer of its products. If so, we believe these deductions were unlawful.

The FOURTH CLAIM is that Mr. Van Den Hende and Mr. Schroeder and each of you were not paid minimum wage for tasks you performed that were completely unrelated to selling DPI’s products (which, as we understand it, was the majority of your day).

The FIFTH CLAIM is that Mr. Van Den Hende and Mr. Schroeder and each of you did not receive proper wage statements as required by Labor Code Section 226, and were unable to ascertain how the amounts you were paid were being calculated by DPI.

The SIXTH CLAIM is that Mr. Van Den Hende and Mr. Schroeder and each of you who were terminated since June 28, 2009, did not receive all the wages you were owed upon termination and/or resignation in violation of Labor Code Section 203, which provides for up to 30 days of wages as a “waiting-time” penalty.

The SEVENTH CLAIM is that DPI unfairly benefited from engaging in the above-mentioned violations of California labor laws.

The EIGHTH CLAIM is for civil penalties under the Private Attorney General’s Act of 2004 (“PAGA”), for each of the violations mentioned above.

Who is Affected?

All Sales Representatives employed by DPI Specialty Foods, Inc. (“DPI”) in California between June 28, 2009 and the present.

What Can I Do to Get Involved?

We are seeking information from you concerning the above-mentioned issues in preparation for the upcoming mediation scheduled for September 24, 2014. If you are willing to discuss these matters with us or if you have any questions about your rights/roles in this case as putative class members, please contact us. Despite what DPI, or anyone else might tell you, any communications with our office will be held in complete confidence.

Who Can I Contact About the Case?

The attorney responsible for handling this matter is Aris E. Karakalos of Strauss & Strauss, APC. He can be reached during regular business hours at (805) 641-6600 (ext. 102).

Important Case Documents

Notice of Ruling on Motion for Preliminary Approval

Download the PDF file .

Second Amended Complaint

Download the PDF file .