Local Butterball Plants Reach $4.25 Million Settlement

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The Butterball turkey company has reached a $4.25 million settlement with workers at its processing plants in Huntsville and Ozark.

Workers filed suit against the company in early 2008, saying Butterball did not pay employees for workplace routines such as donning protective clothing and sanitizing before and after their production shifts, according to federal court documents.

The back pay amounts to about 25 minutes per day of unpaid work time.

Butterball will create a settlement fund to pay off those who filed claims before July 1. The agreement covers production workers employed at the plants between Oct. 1, 2006, and July 1.

To minimize the amount of unpaid time workers spend on the production floor, the company is adopting several changes to when employees can arrive on the floor for work. Employees will also have to leave the processing floor immediately after their shifts are over.

The agreement also includes $2.6 million in lawyer fees, the documents say.