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News Release

U.S. Labor Department sues Pittsburgh, Texas-based
Pilgrim's Pride Corp. to recover more than $3 million in back wages

DALLAS The U.S. Department of Labor today filed a lawsuit against Pilgrim's Pride Corp. in Dallas to recover back wages estimated to exceed $3 million for more than 500 former and current workers engaged in poultry processing work. The complaint was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.

"Ensuring that low-wage workers are paid all the wages they have rightfully earned is a top priority of the Wage and Hour Division," said Paul DeCamp, the agency's administrator. "This legal action involves more than $3 million in back wages for more than 500 employees, and is intended to ensure that the company complies with federal overtime and recordkeeping laws in the future."

The complaint, which follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division, alleges that Pilgrim's Pride Corp. has failed to pay proper overtime wages and keep accurate records as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) since Aug. 6, 2005. The overtime violations occurred in part because the company failed to pay its employees for all hours worked including time spent putting on and taking off protective clothing. During the investigation, Pilgrim's Pride Corp. made no commitment to comply with the recordkeeping and overtime provisions of the FLSA.

The FLSA requires employees to be paid minimum wage for all hours worked and time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.

Pilgrim's Pride Corp. is the largest chicken processing company in the United States, operating 34 plants. Since completing the acquisition of Gold Kist in late 2006, the company's consolidated annual net sales are approximately $7.4 billion.

For more information about the FLSA, call the Wage and Hour Division's Dallas office at (817) 861-2150) or the Department of Labor's toll-free helpline at (866) 4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at


Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employment Standards Administration
August 8, 2007