Wawa Faces 1,000-Person Class Action Suit Over Employee Stock Ownership Program

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Wawa Faces 1,000-Person Class Action Suit Over Employee Stock Ownership Program

07/31/2019
Wawa Inc. logo

WAWA, Pa. — Less than a year after settling a lawsuit related to its employee stock ownership program, Wawa Inc. may be in for another legal challenge around the program.

With a recent judicial ruling, Wawa is now facing a class action lawsuit by more than 1,000 former employees who say they were forced to trade the Wawa stock in their retirement plan at an unfair price.

In early July, Judge Paul S. Diamond of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted class status after the convenience store agreed that portions of the case were appropriate for class treatment, according to Bloomberg Law.

Diamond also granted class status on the employees' claim of fiduciary breach based on misrepresentation, which accused Wawa of wrongly telling them they could continue to hold company stock until age 68, the news outlet reported.

The new challenge comes on the heels of Wawa's September agreement to pay $25 million to settle a similar lawsuit accusing the c-store chain of forcing employees to sell their company stock at an unfair price. In that case, former Wawa employees forced to sell their company stock in 2015 split the settlement, minus $5 million in fees for lawyers, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

Pennsylvania-based Wawa operates more than 840 c-stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C. Wawa ranks No. 15 on the 2019 Convenience Store News Top 100 list.