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BRIEFLY / LABOR

Government Sues IBP Over Wages

April 25, 1998|Bloomberg News

The Labor Department is suing IBP Inc., accusing the meat packing company of not paying more than 20,000 employees for work performed before and after their regular shifts in 12 plants since 1994. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., seeks to recover back wages totaling about $8 million under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In October, an appeals court held that Dakota City, Neb.-based IBP had to pay $4.5 million in back wages and more than $2.6 million in interest to more than 23,000 employees who worked in 11 plants in six states from 1986 to 1988. The court ruled that IBP had to pay employees for time spent putting on, taking off and cleaning protective equipment, as well as obtaining and cleaning their knives. IBP said, "It is disheartening after offering to pay back wages and implementing prospective remedies . . . to have the department issue a statement implying lack of diligence by IBP." IBP shares fell 6 cents to close at $21.63 on the NYSE.

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