Some Colorado readers may be familiar with or have ordered from Greater Omaha Packing Co. when they wanted a delicious steak. The meatpacking company is facing a wage and hour claim by one of its employees. The man claims that the company did not pay him properly and that he was forced to work without stopping.
The plaintiff was a boiler room operator who had worked with the company for six years. He alleges that he was not able to take his legally mandated breaks, but the company regularly clocked the workers out so that it appeared that they had taken them. Furthermore, he was also not paid for the 30-minute meal periods that he could not take.
The man claims that his work weeks were regularly 50 hours, and he was forced to go through all those hours without any rest periods at all. He alleges that if the boilers were running, he was unable to leave. Each week, he was reportedly losing out on 2.5 hours of pay. Other employees were also purportedly subjected to the same wage theft.
Omaha Packing denies the allegations in the wage and hour claim and alleges that the plaintiff never spoke up that he did not get to take his breaks or that he was short-changed. The company contends that the workers are all paid fairly and are provided a safe environment. The plaintiff is seeking for his case to have class-action status and wants to recover the unpaid wages with interest, legal fees and any other redress the court awards. Colorado workers facing similar situations should not be forced to tolerate such harsh conditions. If an agreeable resolution is not met after the employees speak up, they may consider having their allegations reviewed by an employment law attorney who can give direction to the next appropriate steps.
Source: dailyjournal.net, "A former Greater Omaha Packing Co. boiler room operator is suing the company, saying he wasn't paid for lunch breaks he was not allowed to take", Margery A. Beck, Feb. 4, 2016