Judge Orders Henry’s Turkey Service To Pay 1.7 Million In Wage Case

From the July 21, 2011 Des Moines Register:

Thirty-one of the disabled Atalissa men who worked for Henry’s Turkey Service in its final years have been awarded a total of $1.7 million.

In response to a federal civil lawsuit alleging multiple violations of federal wage-and-hour laws, U.S. District Court Judge Harold D. Vietor on Wednesday awarded the mentally retarded employees of Henry’s a total of $1,761,554. The judgment represents $880,777 in unpaid wages, plus damages in that same amount.

The judgment was rendered without a trial. The U.S. Department of Labor had successfully argued earlier this year that there were no substantive issues to be decided at a trial because the company had admitted to many of the practices that led to the lawsuit.

For example, Henry’s acknowledged that it paid the disabled workers no more than $65 per month, regardless of the hours they worked. That amount was established as the monthly rate of pay because anything over $65 would have resulted in the workers losing some of the disability income that Henry’s claimed in return for room and board.
Henry’s Turkey Service is a Texas labor broker that for four decades placed mentally retarded men in a West Liberty processing plant, where they spent 40 hours per week gutting turkeys for $65 per month. Henry’s also collected the men’s Social Security disability payments and used some of that money to offset the cost of room and board in a 100-year-old Atalissa bunkhouse.
Iowa Labor Commissioner Dave Neil, the U.S. Department of Labor and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took action against the company for alleged wage violations and mistreatment of the workers.

Source:  http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110721/NEWS/107210324/-1-7-million-judgment-issued-in-Atalissa-workers-case


Erbe Law Firm can assist with any employment law or labor law questions that you might have.  Please feel free to contact Erbe Law Firm for a free initial consultation with an employment law or labor law attorney.


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