Judge Approves Class Action Certification for Smithfield Workers

Federal North Carolina Judge Malcolm J. Howard, granted a class certification and collective action for workers in Smithfield Packing Co. Inc. Workers allege that they were not paid for required activities performed either before, during or after their regular work shift.

Originally three separate plaintiffs brought suit against the bacon processing plant and U.S. Magistrate Judge Gates recommended that the cases had met the requisite elements to certify the plaintiffs for a class action. The class action would be open to all current and former hourly employees employed since 2007.

Workers allege that donning and doffing of protective gear and walking to their work stations both before and after their shifts and during lunch beaks were qualified job activities and should warrant compensation for the time spent doing these activities. The Plaintiffs state that they received no compensation as their compensation began when they were scheduled to start work, not when they commenced these required activities.

The Judge granted the class action certification because the employees eligible to opt into the suit only differed in locations where they worked and their start and end dates of employment.

Are you not being compensated for tasks required of your in your employment? Contact an attorney today.