June 12, 2017
PETALUMA, CALIF. — A lawsuit filed on behalf of current and former Petaluma Poultry workers claims the meat processor repeatedly violated a variety of California wage and labor laws over the past four years.
According to the lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status, Petaluma Poultry failed to pay workers for time spent changing out of protective gear at the end of their shifts, failed to pay overtime, and didn’t ensure employees got their statutory 30-minute meal breaks when they worked shifts of more than five hours and more than 10 hours, or pay them when meal breaks were missed or interrupted.
Perdue Foods LLC, of Maryland, and Delaware-registered Coleman Natural Foods, LLC, are also named as defendants in the lawsuit, filed June 9 in Sonoma Superior Court. The lawsuit seeks unpaid compensation, penalties, damages and attorneys’ fees.
“Under California law, time spent by employees putting on and taking off protective gear and other clothing required for their jobs on work premises must be compensated by their employers,” said Attorney David Yeremian, whose Glendale practice specializes in employment law. The suit could include dozens of Petaluma Poultry workers if a class action is approved by the court.
This isn’t the first time Petaluma Poultry has faced a class action lawsuit over alleged violations of wage and hour laws. Former employees in 2012 accused the company of failing to pay overtime and not paying for time the spent to put on protective gear and sanitize themselves and work areas.