Tyson Foods Inc. is under fire yet again after the meat processing giant was hit with another lawsuit claiming their factory workers weren’t correctly compensated for their overtime hours. This is not the first lawsuit the corporation has been hit with, it’s not even the first FLSA suit they’ve settled. It seems like every year their legal team is forced to approve a multi million dollar settlement in favor of current and former employees who were short changed.
Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Classifications
The new suit claims that factory production supervisors across the country are being incorrectly classified as they are not actually doing supervisory or managerial work the majority of the time.
There are certain job roles that are exempt to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime laws, including those that fall under “Executive Job Duties” such as management positions. Even though an employer might say or claim that an employee is exempt, they are only exempt under the FLSA if they actually perform these exempt job duties.
Executive job duties that classify an employee as exempt include:
- The Employee regularly supervises two or more other employees, and also
- Has management as the primary duty of the position, and also,
- Has some genuine input into the job status of other employees (such as hiring, firing, promotions, or assignments).
Those last two areas are where most employers tend to make mistakes.
The Current Case
The most recent case against Tyson is being brought by production supervisors from their factories in Texas. As stated previously, this suit claims that these “supervisors” are being incorrectly classified as they are not actually completing supervisory or managerial work the majority of the time.
The current lawsuit against Tyson Foods states that these production supervisors did mostly non-managerial work and did not have input into hiring and firing decisions. Originally the suit claimed this applied to employees not only in Texas, but across the country across multiple states. Though a recent decision by the Judge has significantly reduced the scope of this lawsuit. U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman stated that production supervisors with no connection to the state of Texas cannot participate in the current FLSA suit against Tyson. The out-of-state claims were dismissed from this specific suit for jurisdictional reasons.
But, this does not mean these claimants do not have a case. It merely means additional suits will follow for workers in other states.
At this point it seems Tyson Foods just can’t help themselves from misclassifying, underpaying, and taking advantage of their employees. If you or a loved one works for Tyson Foods in a “supervisory” position and are being denied overtime pay, you may still have a case.
Remember to be legally classified as exempt from overtime pay the employee must:
- Regularly supervises two or more other employees
- Have management as their primary duty of the position, and
- Have genuine input into the hiring, firing, promotions, or assignments of other employees.
Contact us today
If you or a loved one works for Tyson Foods as a Production Supervisor and are being denied overtime pay, contact our law firm today to learn more.