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Tyson to Pay $5M in Unpaid Wages and Overtime Class Action Lawsuit

This is a settlement for the Donning-Doffing lawsuit.

Dakota City, NB: Tyson Foods has been ordered to pay nearly $5 million as settlement in an unpaid wages and overtime class action lawsuit. The lawsuit dealt specifically with allegations that employees were not compensated for the time it took them to put on and take off clothing necessary for their work at a beef processing plant, violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. (FLSA)

In addition to the $3,307,191.20 Tyson must pay to resolve the FLSA violations, the company must also remit an additional $1,653,595.60 in damages called for under the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act to the state's treasurer, according to the ruling.

The lawsuit, filed in January 2008, made claims citing federal and state law and sought minimum and overtime wages. According to the lawsuit, the near 8,000 plaintiffs covered by the class, were paid on a "gang time"system that only covered time spent on the actual production line. This meant that the workers were not compensated for time spent on activities such as donning and doffing protective gear and walking time. But Tyson claimed it paid some workers for extra four minutes per day for time spent changing clothes, according to the lawsuit.

The class claims went back as far as 2004, according to court documents. The case is Gomez et al v. Tyson Foods, case number 8:08-cv-00021, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska.

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Published on Oct-3-13


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