Pilgrim's Pride to pay $1 million in labor case

by Bryan Salvage
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PITTSBURG, TEXAS — Pilgrim's Pride Corp. will pay approximately $1 million to the U.S. Department of Labor (D.O.L.) after both parties reached a settlement agreement regarding the federal government's review of time collection practices at the company's Dallas, Texas, processing facility, the company announced on Jan. 29.

Pay for the minimal time employees spend in putting on and taking off protective work clothing, such as smocks, aprons and gloves required for their jobs at the plant, was the specific focus of the review.

Under terms of the agreement, the federal government will distribute those funds as overtime compensation to approximately 800 current and former employees of the company's Dallas facility.

This agreement does not constitute any admission that the company violated any provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act, both Pilgrim's Pride and the D.O.L. acknowledged.

Pilgrim's Pride said in a statement it has agreed to modify certain time-collection practices, which have been standard in the industry for decades, in order to resolve the government's "donning and doffing" case and satisfy the concerns expressed by the D.O.L. as part of the settlement.

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