Butterball LLC agreed to settle a class action suit with its Arkansas plant workers that has lingered in the federal court system since 2008. The donning and doffing case settlement totals about $4.25 million, not including attorneys’ fees, costs and claims administration, according to court documents filed Monday in federal court.
The settlement class involves all non-exempt production employees who worked at Butterball’s Huntsville and Ozark turkey processing facilities, including employees placed through temporary staffing agencies at any time since Oct. 1, 2006.
The settlement was reached through a formal mediation process that began in mid-June, according to the court documents.
The $4.25 million settlement is approximate as the agreement resolves claims through July 1, 2012. Class counsel will apply to the court for payment of no more than $2.6 million in attorneys’ fees and $430,000 in litigation costs. Butterball will not oppose such a request. The total attorneys’ fees and costs actually paid will be as approved by the court in its final order and will not affect any class members’ recoveries.
Butterball is assembling the most recent wage data for the workers involved. Workers will receive back pay for roughly 25 minutes per day for the time it takes them to put on and take off protective clothing and gear required for their job.