S-L Distribution Company, LLC is facing a proposed class action lawsuit that claims the wholesale food distributor made illegal deductions from workers’ pay and failed to reimburse them for business expenses.
According to the complaint, S-L paid drivers, referred to by the defendant as “IBOs,” to deliver snack food products to retail stores and other customers on the distributor’s behalf. Despite being required to form their own corporations as a condition of doing business with S-L, drivers typically worked exclusively for the defendant and were not engaged in an independently established trade, the lawsuit explains. The complaint argues that the work these drivers performed was a key part of S-L Distribution’s usual course of business as a wholesale distributor.
The case contends that S-L Distribution failed to adhere to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act’s (IWPCA) requirement that the company reimburse business expenses incurred by its drivers. Drivers working for the defendant were required to provide their own vehicles yet were not compensated by S-L for work-related expenses such as gas, vehicle maintenance or insurance, the lawsuit alleges.
In addition, the complaint claims that S-L made unlawful weekly deductions from IBOs’ earnings for route loan repayments, truck loan repayments, truck rental payments and electronic equipment. The case stresses that these deductions, which were itemized on weekly “settlement sheets,” were prohibited by the IWPCA.
The lawsuit seeks to represent all individuals who worked for the defendant or any of its related companies as an IBO in the state of Illinois within the past 10 years. The suit requests that the defendant be ordered to compensate proposed class members for all allegedly improper deductions and provide reimbursement for all work-related expenses.