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Nestl� USA Ordered to Pay Back Wages to 6,000 Workers Clocking Off for Work Clothes Changes

Posted to the IUF website 26-Jan-2009

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Nestl� Prepared Foods, part of Nestl� USA, will have to pay out USD 5.1 million in back wages to 6,000 workers who should have been paid for time required to change into work and protective clothing but were changing clothes on their own time. According to the official US government press release, " Investigators found that production, maintenance and cleaning workers at manufacturing facilities in Chatsworth, Calif., Springville, Utah, and Jonesboro, Ark., were not paid for time spent putting on required equipment and clothing and removing it before and after their shifts, as required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

"Nestle subsequently identified additional back wages due to workers at plants in Mt. Sterling, Ky., Solon, Ohio, and Gaffney, S.C. Reviews at additional facilities are still in progress. All the workers due back wages worked at facilities manufacturing products such as Hot Pockets, Lean Cuisine and Stouffers frozen foods. The workers will receive back wages for work performed between Dec. 15, 2006, and Dec. 15, 2008.

"The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid for required time spent before and after shifts 'donning and doffing,' or putting on and removing certain uniforms, protective clothing and safety equipment, as well as for time spent between locker rooms and production areas once work time has begun."