Tyson Hit with Donning and Doffing OT Suit

May 1, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A group of Tyson Foods employees filed a lawsuit against the giant food processor over allegations the company does not properly compensate workers for tasks including putting on and taking off safety gear.

The suit, which seeks class-action status to represent the approximately 2,000 employees at Tyson’s Logansport, Indiana, pork packing plant, alleges the company violated the federalFair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and a similar state statute.A news release from the two law firms representing the workers , Grant & Eisenhofer, P.A. and the Karmel Law Firm, said more than 600 Tyson employees have joined the suit.

According to the complaint, the Tyson workers are not properly paid for:

  • donning, doffing, cleaning, and sterilizing safety equipment including gear designed to keep workers from cutting themselves and contaminating the meet with human blood;
  • obtaining supplies, tools, and equipment;
  • preparing and maintaining tools and equipment;
  • attending safety and other meetings; and
  • performing production activities.

Among the equipment-related activities the suit claims the Tyson workers must perform without proper compensation are sharpening or grinding knives or “working the steels” – the act of sanding knife sharpeners to make certain they work properly.

The lawsuit is available here .