Hatfield Quality Meats

Montgomery County, PA: (Jun-06-07) A class action lawsuit was brought against Hatfield Quality Meats, by over 1,500 current and former hourly pork processing workers, who claimed that they were owed back wages by the company. The family-owned company is a processor and supplier of pork products in Hatfield Township, Montgomery County, which has been in business since 1895. The case's three lead plaintiffs, who live in Allentown, filed the suit in 2006. The case emerged after the US Supreme Court ruled workers should be compensated for the time they spend putting on protective gear to perform their jobs. That 2005 case, sometimes called the Alvarez decision, involved workers at an Iowa Beef Processors plant.

In a settlement reached, Hatfield Quality Meats will pay $1.3 million in back wages to more than 1,500 current and former employees, settling the class action litigation. The Hatfield settlement will not be distributed evenly because payments will depend on the length of time of a worker's employment. But if it were split evenly, each worker covered by the settlement would receive about $880. [MORNING CALL: DOFFING AND DONNING SETTLEMENT]

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