A group of production, inspection, packaging, and maintenance workers filed suit against their employer, Armour-Eckrich Meats LLC (“Armour”) in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota on Tuesday, April 9, 2013.
The case was filed as a collective and class action under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act, and other common law claims.
The suit is titled Carol Knaack, et al. v. Armour-Eckrich Meats LLC, Civ. No. 0:13-cv-00829-JRT-AJB (District of Minnesota). The Complaint alleges that there are other “similarly situated” production, inspection, packaging, and/or maintenance workers or former workers who may be eligible to participate in the case and assert similar claims.
The Complaint alleges that Armour did not and does not pay its production, inspection, packaging, and maintenance workers at its St. James, Minn., facility for all of their hours worked in violation of state and federal law. Specifically, Plaintiffs and similarly situated individuals – former or current hourly, non-exempt employees – are or were required to wear certain protective gear.
That gear, including a smock, boots, gloves, hat, and a beard/face guard, was worn while performing their jobs to prevent particulates from contaminating the food products Armour manufactures.
However, Plaintiffs and similarly situated individuals were not compensated for time spent donning and doffing the protective gear prior to clocking in at the start of their shifts, at the beginning and end of their meal breaks, and after clocking out at the end of their shifts.
Plaintiffs also perform or have performed other duties for which they are or were not compensated, including but not limited to waiting in a line to clock into a time system.
David E. Schlesinger, an attorney for the Plaintiffs, stated, “These employees are hardworking people who deserve to be paid for all of the hours that they work, as required by the law.”
The Plaintiffs are represented by James H. Kaster and David E. Schlesinger of Nichols Kaster, PLLP and Steven R. Sunde of Sunde, Olson, Kircher and Zender, PLC.