Federal Court Confirms FLSA Rights of Hazleton, Pennsylvania Beef Workers Representeed by the Winebrake Law Firm

On April 10, 2008, hundreds of beef workers in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania achieved an important victory over their employer, Cargill Meat Solutions, when Senior District Judge William J. Nealon denied the company’s summary judgment motion. The case, entitled In re Cargill Meat Solutions Wage and Hour Litigation, is published at 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31824 (M.D. Pa. Apr. 10, 2008). The workers are represented by The Winebrake Law Firm as well as Kenney Egan McCafferty & Young, P.C. (Plymouth Meeting, PA) and O’Malley & Langan, P.C. (Scranton, PA).The Hazleton workers, like thousands of other beef and poultry workers represented by our firm, seek compensation for all time spent performing pre-shift and post-shift activities associated with sanitation and the wearing and maintenance of gear required by their jobs. The Hazleton workers, for example, wear various combinations of gear, including hard hats, eye protection, face shields, hearing protection, mesh belly guards, mesh sleeves, mesh gloves, wizard sleeves, wizard gloves, knife scabbards, hairnets, cotton gloves, frocks, plastic aprons, rubber aprons, plastic gloves, rubber gloves, plastic sleeves, and cut resistant gloves. In addition, the Hazleton workers seek compensation for time spent traveling between the changing area and the work station. In recent decisions, the Supreme Court, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Department of Labor have frowned upon the continued failure of the beef and chicken industry to compensate workers for these types of activities. See IBP, Inc. v. Alvarez, 546 U.S. 21 (2005); DeAsensio v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 500 F.3d 361 (3d Cir. 2007); U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Advisory Memorandum 2006-2 (May 31, 2006). Read the rest of this entry .
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