Koch Foods Agrees to Pay Unpaid Overtime Wages to Poultry Workers

A poultry plant in Mississippi agreed to pay 174 workers $326,971 after an investigation by the DOL. Koch Foods, the company that owns and operates the plant, did not pay its employees the required overtime premium (time and a half) for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The company also neglected to pay some employees drive time for transporting crews to work sites in violation of federal law. Lawsuits and Department of Labor enforcement actions aimed at illegal pay practices in the meat and poultry processing industries are quite common. Typically, these claims relate to the failure to pay for all hours worked by the employees.

Meat Processing Facilities

Meat processing facilities frequently fail to comply with the FLSA.  Typically, employers fail to pay employees for the time spent donning (putting on) and doffing (taking off) required sanitation gear and personal protective equipment. 

Employers in the meat processing industry must capture and pay employees for all time spent donning and doffing required sanitary/safety gear and equipment.  These employers must also pay for all the related walking and waiting time as well as other related duties (such as sharpening knives or sanitizing equipment). 

Employers in this industry also frequently fail to pay their employees for production work, and donning and doffing, performed during their meal periods.