MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis meat packing company will have to pay $127,830 in back wages to 272 employees.
The U.S. Department of Labor said Empire Packing LP--doing business as Ledbetter Packing Company--forced employees to end their lunches early without pay.
The employees had to end their lunch breaks five minutes early so they had time to wash their hands, stand in a foot bath, and dress in required uniforms.
By forcing the employees to do this during a time they were not getting paid, the company was violating overtime laws.
"The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that employees receive wages they have legally earned for all hours they have worked," said Division District Director Nettie Lewis, in Nashville. "The outcome of this investigation serves as a reminder to all employers to review their pay practices to confirm they are complying with the law. The Department will continue to work to level the playing field for employers who play by the rules."