CHICAGO – Two chicken catchers launched a federal lawsuit against Koch Meat Co., doing business as Koch Foods, a Chicago-based meat processor, according to published news reports.

The workers were employed through Summit, Mississippi-based JET Poultry Services which supplies chicken catcher crews for Koch Foods. In their lawsuit, Jimmy R. Nicks and James Earl Patrick allege that workers are required to work more than 40 hours a week to meet their quota of chickens but are not paid overtime. The lawsuit also alleges the workers were not compensated for travel time to or between farms, and they are forced to wait without pay during equipment repairs or equipment unloading.

The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status in addition to unpaid wages, overtime compensation plus interest under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The law requires employers to pay workers 1 ½ times their hourly wage for every hour worked over 40 hours; however some industries are exempt from the law.

Koch Foods is a privately held company owned by Joseph Grendys. The company is not affiliated with Koch Industries or the Koch brothers.