SIOUX CITY, IA – Slaughterhouse workers spend long hours on their feet to process livestock and put beef, pork and other meats on the nation’s dinner tables – essential work that keeps Americans fed. For their labor, employers are legally required to ensure these workers are paid all their rightful wages.
A recent investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division at Seaboard Triumph Foods LLC pork processing facility in Sioux City found the employer failed to pay 413 employees for work completed before and after their shifts, such as set up, clean up and knife sharpening.
By failing to count and pay for this work, the employer – operating as STF – violated provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Division investigators determined that the employer failed to pay the employees for all hours worked, and did not pay overtime at time and one-half their average hourly rate of pay when workers exceeded 40 hours in a work week. STF also failed to maintain accurate payroll records, as required.
The division recovered $331,807 in back wages for the affected workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the nation’s slaughterhouses and meat packers employ about 78,000 people.
“Our nation’s meat processing facilities are often staffed by vulnerable workers, some with language barriers and many unaware of their federal wage law protections,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Marcy Boldman in Des Moines, Iowa. “The division priorities worker protections for this essential and vulnerable workforce. Wage and Hour Division is available to answer questions from employees and employers about wage laws and other compliance issues in over 200 languages, regardless of immigration status.”
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.