This week Springdale-based Tyson Foods Inc. agreed to pay $950,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit involving 1,200 workers at a Council Bluffs, Iowa meat processing plant who claimed wage violations.
A judge must sign-off on the settlement that was reached between the two sides on Wednesday (Oct. 31), according to federal court documents.
The lawsuit claimed Tyson should have paid employees for time spent in preparation for doing their jobs, such as putting on and removing protective clothing, cleaning equipment as well as sharpening knives before and after shifts. Tyson denies wrongdoing.
Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman told The City Wire in an email, "The matter has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties." He offered no further comment.
As with most class-action cases the majority of the settlement will go to the lawyers prosecuting the case. The deal would reimburse plaintiffs' lawyers $340,000 for out-of-pocket costs and award $309,000 in attorneys' fees
That leaves a pot of $271,000 for current and former workers dating back to 2006 to share. This plaintiff class will be able to claim payment based on several different factors such as how much they worked and their specific jobs.