Workers win trial over pay for putting on gear

Associated Press
Updated 3/14/2014 7:38 AM

ZEELAND, Mich. -- A jury says a Michigan meatpacker violated federal law by not paying workers for putting on and taking off safety wear.

The case involves two dozen people who worked at a former Sara Lee Corp. factory near Zeeland, 25 miles west of Grand Rapids. Attorney Matt Turner says the company ought to have paid the workers for putting on and taking off boots and equipment, before and after their shifts.

A jury in Grand Rapids federal court ruled in favor of the workers last week, although a financial award hasn't been determined. Downers Grove-based Sara Lee spun off Hillshire Brands in 2012, and the Chicago-based company now owns the factory.

Hillshire spokesman Matthew Pakula says the company isn't commenting because the case is in court.

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