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Workers Sue Farmland Foods for Wage and Hour “Donning and Doffing” Rights in Class Action Lawsuit

May 17, 2010

In a recent blog, our California Employment Lawyers discussed a current "donning and doffing" case, where police officers in Denver are fighting for wage and hour compensation for the time it takes them to put on and take off their uniforms and equipment.

In another recent case, a group of five employees are suing Farmland Foods in a federal wage "donning and doffing" class action lawsuit--alleging that Farmland Foods has not paid them for the time it took to put on and take off safety gear, clean the gear, and walk to and from their meat processing workstations.

According to the lawsuit, the workers are required to be ready for work, wearing their protective gear, when the meat production line starts running. The workers claim that their state and federal wage and hour rights are being violated, as the company refuses to pay them for the time spent putting on the protective gear, and cleaning up at the end of the workday.

In the 2005 Supreme Court case IBP v. Alvarez, the high court ruled in favor of the meat-packing workers who claimed they should have been paid for the extra time it took to put on ('donning') the gear before working, and take off ('doffing') after the workday is over--based on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that has broken new ground for workers' wage and hour rights across the nation.

The Farmland Foods employees work in a Milan, Missouri processing facility, and filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and former and current employees who have also had their wage and hour rights violated.

Other recent lawsuits involving "donning and doffing" include a 2007 settlement, in which Gold's Plump Poultry Inc., paid $1.2 million in a lawsuit brought by workers handling poultry. In another 2006 case, George's Processing Inc., agreed to pay poultry workers $1.24 million in back wages in a Department of Labor negotiated settlement.

In Orange County and throughout Southern California, our Anaheim-based Labor & Employment Attorneys know how to find the best solution to your state and federal wage and hour issues in the workplace. Contact Howard Law, PC today.

Class Action Suit Filed Against Farmland Foods, KTVO/ABC3, May 13, 2010

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), WAGE AND HOUR ADVISORY MEMORANDUM NO. 2006-2: IBP v. Alvarez Press Release, May 31, 2006

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)