Poultry Workers to Receive Wage and Hour Settlement Payout
After a 12-year legal battle, more than 12,000 across the country will be receiving settlement payments of approximately $1,200 each in lost wages. The 1999 lawsuit alleged violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for failure to pay the poultry workers wages for time spent putting on, taking off, and cleaning protective clothing and equipment required for the safe processing of poultry products. For years, poultry manufacturers did not pay these wages, arguing that the FLSA was “vague” about when such employees clock into work.
The $32 million settlement was approved in September, 2011. It is the largest settlement against a major poultry company to date.
In addition to the settlement, in 2010, Tyson agreed to change its hourly wage practices to enable workers to clock in before dressing for work and to clock out after they remove their protective clothing. The change will take effect by December, 2012 and will affect as many as 38,000 workers.
Have your rights been compromised in the workplace? If so, please call Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.