HAVERHILL, MISS. — A recent investigation by the US Department of Labor (DOL) discovered that A & B Foods and PH Food failed to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act. This included paying workers the proper overtime pay and minimum wage.

The agency said 313 workers were due overtime of $285,848 at the two poultry processing facilities. 

According to the DOL findings, the two plants made illegal deductions that reduced employees’ average hourly pay below the federal minimum wage. It also found that it failed to pay the correct overtime rate to some workers for hours over 40 in a week. The employer calculated the overtime rate based on an incorrect hourly rate because of illegal deductions.

Also, the employers did not include bonuses into the rate of pay when calculating overtime rates and instructed some workers to refrain from clocking in which led to unpaid hours. 

“Families across the country depend on food industry workers to put meals on their tables, and these workers deserve to be paid all of their rightful wages,” said Audrey Hall, director of the Wage and Hour Division District Office in Jackson, Miss. “Unfortunately, the people affected by the violations in this case work in an industry where wages are low, and violations are all too common. The US Department of Labor is committed to protecting their rights and ensuring that they receive all of the hard-earned wages they rely on to make ends meet.”

In May, division representatives met with workers from the two plants and presented them with the back wages. DOL said most affected workers were notified but they are still looking for more than 40 workers who are owed wages.