Supreme Court to hear Tyson don-doff appeal

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The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments for Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Peg Bouaphakeo et al., in its next term.

WASHINGTON – The US Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear Tyson Foods’ challenge to a class action judgment of nearly $5.8 million awarded against the company in a donning and doffing case. Tyson petitioned the court in late May.

The company said in its petition that the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit wrongly certified the lawsuit as a class action. Tyson also said the court should have assessed individual damages instead of using another formula.

The long-running case stems from employees at Tyson's Storm Lake, Iowa, processing plant who claimed they were not fully paid for time spent donning and doffing protective gear before 2010. The employees won their case in US District Court and were awarded $5.8 million in damages and attorney’s fees. But Tyson appealed the judgment to the Eighth Circuit, which later upheld the lower court’s ruling.

Oral arguments and a ruling are expected in the court’s next term which begins in October and ends in June 2016. The case is Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Peg Bouaphakeo et al., US Supreme Court, No. 14-1146.

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