Mother Jones: Tyson Foods Wants the Supreme Court to Block Its Employees From Suing for Wage Theft

Ian Pajer-Rogers |

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From Mother Jones:

by Stephanie Mencimer

Workers have filed dozens of lawsuits against Tyson Foods alleging millions of dollars in "wage theft" for its failure to keep wage and hour records and to properly pay workers for overtime as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). On Tuesday, Tyson came before the US Supreme Court and argued that the justices should make those lawsuits go away. Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo is truly a David-versus-Goliath lawsuit, with about 3,000 low-income, often immigrant workers going up against the world's second-largest meat processor, which has more than $30 billion in annual sales.

Tyson has asked the nation's highest court to throw out a lawsuit that resulted in a $6 million jury verdict against the company in Iowa for cheating its workers out of earned overtime. Tyson doesn't just want the case thrown out, though. The verdict at issue amounts to peanuts for the multinational corporation—a little more than two hours' worth of Tyson's annual profits. The company also wants the court to issue a broad ruling that would effectively immunize it against future class actions for wage and hour theft, and make it much harder for workers everywhere to join together to bring such claims. If it wins this case, Tyson could have it both ways: It could effectively continue to violate the FLSA and escape liability for it in court.

Read the full article from Mother Jones