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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Memphis Meat Packing Company Paying $127,830 in Back Wages and Damages to 272 Employees

MEMPHIS, TN – After a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation, Empire Packing LP, a Memphis meat cutting and packing company, will pay $127,830 in back wages and liquidated damages to 272 employees for violating overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The Division’s investigation determined that Empire Packing LP – doing business as Ledbetter Packing Co. – required each of its employees working in the pork, ground beef, and fillet departments to end their lunch breaks five minutes early and return to work – without pay – to wash their hands, stand in a foot bath, and dress in required uniform items such as hair nets and smocks. The accumulation of this uncompensated time each week resulted in overtime violations for employees who worked more than 40 hours.  

“The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that employees receive wages they have legally earned for all hours they have worked,” said Division District Director Nettie Lewis, in Nashville. “The outcome of this investigation serves as a reminder to all employers to review their pay practices to confirm they are complying with the law. The Department will continue to work to level the playing field for employers who play by the rules.”

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD.

Wage and Hour Division
February 22, 2018
Release Number
Media Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
Media Contact: Michael D'Aquino