CHICAGO — A group of poultry catchers claim they are due overtime wages from their employer, Koch Foods, because the pay arrangement they entered into did not take into account the actual hours worked.
The lawsuit, filed in Chicago Federal District court, claims the poultry catchers should have been paid overtime wages even though their regular pay was done so on a piece-rate basis.
The workers were paid a sum for every one thousand chickens caught during a shift. The plaintiffs claim they often had to collect 36,000 to 42,000 chickens every shift at the free-range chicken farm.
Furthermore, the plaintiffs allege their hours were not accurately recorded and their agricultural jobs were not exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Long Hours, Hard Work, No Overtime Pay for Workers
Attorneys for the plaintiffs describe the job performed by their plaintiffs as incredibly taxing.
Conditions included routinely working over 40 hours per week, being scratched and pecked by chickens, and coming into frequent contact with poultry feces.
Koch Foods, headquartered in Park Ridge, Illinois is among the biggest poultry processing companies in the U.S. The company has feed and processing facilities in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Koch foods’ employment model works by subcontracting out to labor companies that transport workers across the country to work sites. The plaintiffs in this case were employed by JET Poultry Services in Mississippi. They claim they received no special training to work for the poultry service company and they were required to meet quotas during the week.
FLSA Piece Rate Overtime Pay Laws
The FLSA has guidelines employers must adhere to when calculating piece-rate pay and employees who work for these types of wages are entitled to overtime pay. Under FLSA piece rate overtime pay laws, employers “include consideration of quantity and quality of production and an allowance factor covering personal time, fatigue and delay (PF&D).”
What this means is that employers must set a fair compensation rate for piece-rate wages by taking into account the rigors of the job coupled with the time spent doing the job. Employers who fail to properly adjust piece-rate pay may be held liable by employees in civil overtime pay lawsuits.
Piece Rate Overtime Lawsuits
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a piece-rate overtime lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.