MEMPHIS, TN — A Tennessee meat packing company recently agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor to resolve claims the company failed to pay proper wages to hundreds of current and former workers, including failure to pay overtime. As part of the agreement, Memphis-based Empire Packing LP will pay a combined $127,830 in back wages and liquidated damages to 272 employees for violating federal labor and wage laws.
According to an investigation by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, Empire Packing, which does business as Ledbetter Packing Co., required employees working in the pork, ground beef, and fillet departments to end their lunch breaks five minutes early. Workers were required return to work to wash their hands, stand in a foot bath, and dress in required uniform items such as hair nets and smocks.
As a result, each of these workers actually ended up working more than 40 hours and was due overtime pay but never received these wages, as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires. While many companies may not feel this is a large amount of time or money, the truth is that every worker must be paid for all the hours he or she works, and this income can add up to a substantial sum of money as it did in this case.
“The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that employees receive wages they have legally earned for all hours they have worked,” said Division District Director Nettie Lewis, in Nashville. “The outcome of this investigation serves as a reminder to all employers to review their pay practices to confirm they are complying with the law. The Department will continue to work to level the playing field for employers who play by the rules.”
The FLSA requires employers pay workers one and a half times the individual’s average hourly rate of pay when working more than 40 hours in a week. Furthermore, the FLSA gives wage theft victims the right to bring claim on their own behalf with the held of an unpaid overtime lawsuit attorney and recover their back pay and damages.
Meat Packer Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit
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 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.