New York, NY – Teamsters Local 804 has won a class action lawsuit resulting in a $1.3 million dollar judgment against UPS. The world’s largest package delivery company was accused of illegally deducting money from employees’ paychecks in order to contribute to the United Way charity. Approximately 6,000 UPS workers around New York City are part of the settlement.
“This was a union member-led fight. They blew the whistle, filed a class action lawsuit, and won,” Teamsters Local 804 President Vinnie Perrone said following the Dec. 10 announcement. “We urge every affected member to opt-in to the settlement and make the company pay for what they did wrong.”
Within two weeks, union members who had funds illegally withheld from their paychecks will get a packet in the mail to opt into the settlement.
UPS management had for years deducted money from union members’ paychecks to contribute to United Way. But the deductions had to be voluntary and authorized in writing, something the company consistently failed to do.
“A couple years ago, I noticed UPS was taking money out of my check every week and giving it to the United Way,” said Fred Lubarsky, a Local 804 member at UPS. “When I told my manager that I never agreed to this and wanted it to stop, he gave me the run around. I am proud to be part of Local 804, who took on this fight and got back the money UPS stole from me and then some. I’m thinking of donating it to a charity of my choice — not UPS.”
Under the settlement, UPS has to reimburse members for the unauthorized paycheck deductions, plus a 40% penalty. United Way will also get to keep the money that was donated. The union will donate any penalty money that is not claimed in the settlement to St. Jude’s Hospital and St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital.
The class action lawsuit was filed in 2019. Members were represented in the lawsuit free of charge by attorneys Nathaniel Charny and Ben Dictor, who also represent Local 804.
“For years, UPS has been gaining accolades, and likely tax benefits, off its workers contributions to United Way,” Perrone said. “In my experience, managers brow beat, intimidated, and in some cases fraudulently got workers to give money out of their weekly checks. Teamsters Local 804 put together this lawsuit to end UPS’s thievery. But our win is only a first step. I have been getting calls from other Local Unions and as expected, this type of theft was not limited to New York. Workers across the country are getting organized and corporate America needs to start treating us with dignity and respect.”
A spokesperson for UPS told LaborPress the company investigated monies being taken from employee paychecks but declined to comment on the court case. United Way has not responded to requests for comment.