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PA Media Group, U.S. judge OKs $2.5M settlement of overtime pay dispute with Utz

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By Matt Miller

A two-year legal battle ended Tuesday when a federal judge gave final approval to a $2.5 million settlement of an overtime pay dispute with Utz Quality Foods Inc.

The nod from U.S. Middle District Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner means payments will go out to nearly 1,900 route sales drivers in four states who claimed UTZ wrongly denied them overtime.

Those payments are due to drivers who worked for Utz in Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina and New Jersey between March 2014 and September 2016.

The workers claimed in a class-action lawsuit that Utz wrongly classified them as being exempt from overtime. Utz did not acknowledge any wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, which was reached through mediation.

A third of the settlement amount is to be paid to the workers' attorneys.

Conner called the settlement "fair and reasonable" when he sanctioned it at the end of a half-hour hearing.

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