LOS ANGELES (CNS) – La Puente-based Leyen Food paid $95,555 in back wages and other damages to 78 poultry-plant employees for violating the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced today.
The company also paid a civil penalty of $25,194 for the repeat and willful nature of the violations, according to the department.
WHD investigators determined that the firm paid employees who cut and de-boned chicken on a piece-rate basis without regard to the number of hours that they actually worked. The practice resulted in overtime violations when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek but the employer did not pay overtime. The employer manipulated time records to create the appearance that overtime had been paid, according to WHD.
“Our work continues in this industry to ensure that employees receive the wages they have legally earned and that employers can compete on a level playing field,” said Daniel Pasquil, WHD’s West Covina district office director.
“The Wage and Hour Division encourages all employers to take advantage of the free resources we provide to assist them in understanding their responsibilities under federal laws and avoid violations and costly penalties.”
A previous investigation of Leyen Foods also found overtime violations. In the fiscal year 2019, WHD’s West Covina office concluded 10 investigations in the poultry industry, finding more than $125,000 in back wages and damages for 100 employees, WHD said.