George's Processing Inc. has agreed to pay $1,235,000 to settle Department of Labor allegations that the company failed to pay workers for time spent donning and doffing protective gear and walking to and from the changing area to their work stations at its poultry processing plant in Cassville, Missouri.
The settlement follows a November 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision on what time is compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In IBP v. Alvarez , the court ruled that the act requires employers to compensate workers for the time they spend walking to and from the production floor after donning and before doffing required safety gear.
The department says it is actively moving ahead to ensure that other affected companies also pay their employees in compliance with the FLSA.
In settling the case, George's Processing admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to pay back wages to 5,482 current and former employees. The period covered in the settlement is November 19, 2000 to April 15, 2006.