Springfield-based Tyson Foods received approval from a U.S. judiciary panel to consolidate 18 employee lawsuits alleging labor-law violations concerning minimum wages, overtime and record-keeping.
The lawsuits, which were filed in the district courts in 10 states, will be heard together in the Middle District of Georgia.
Many of the lawsuits were filed in the wake of a 2005 Supreme Court decision forcing Tyson-owned IBP Inc., of South Dakota, to pay workers for time spent changing into work clothes and walking to work sites. Several are class actions.
Final tip: Class-action lawsuits on overtime aren’t going away anytime soon. If you have any doubt that your policies are legal, check with counsel. He or she can tell you whether your organization risks being a class-action target.