HASTINGS, NE – The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $230,000 for 545 workers at a Hastings meat processing plant that were denied compensation for pre- and post-shift work such as donning and removing protective gear and equipment cleaning time.An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found that Noah’s Ark Processors LLC paid workers when they and their co-workers started task work on a “gang shift” in various plant areas such as the kill, offal, fabrication and kosher floors. This practice denied workers’ pay for several minutes a day spent doing pre- and post-shift work in the plant. The violations occurred from at least Sept. 6, 2021, through Feb. 4, 2023.On Dec. 21, 2023, U.S. District Court Judge John M. Gerrad for the District of Nebraska, Omaha Division issued a consent judgment and order requiring the meat processor to pay the monies owed to the workers and to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act in the future.“The federal court’s ruling reinforces that employers must pay their workers for time preparing for and completing shift work. These compensable minutes each day add up to real dollars in workers’ pockets,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Marietta Taylor in Des Moines, Iowa. “Many of the workers in this case may not have understood their rights under federal wage laws. It is the legal responsibility of employers to pay workers all their earned wages and provide wage information in a language understood by the employee.”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 and how to file an online complaint. For confidential compliance assistance, employees and employers can call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), regardless of where they are from.Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for iOS and Android devices – also available in Spanish – to ensure hours and pay are accurate.United States Department of Labor v. Noah’s Ark ProcessingCase number 8:23-cv-529

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