Thursday, February 21, 2008, 1:18 PM

Poultry Litigation Still Ruffles Feathers

FLSA "donning and doffing" litigation against Pilgrim's Pride Corp. has been transferred to a multidistrict litigation panel in US District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, sitting in El Dorado. Both private complaints and one filed by the US Department of Labor focus on time spent by employees who put on personal protective equipment before their work shift begins and remove it after the day's duties are over. This is, of course, part of a nationwide attack on compensation practices in the poultry industry which cynics say is heavily influenced by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. These cases, like their counterparts brought against other major poultry processors, seek collective or "class" treatment; many also attempt to join claims under state wage-hour laws in the same litigation.

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