Employees of one or more of the following companies, their subsidiaries and/or related entities in the continental United States anytime between January 1, 2014 and the present are encouraged to contact Kehoe Law Firm, P.C., John Kehoe, Esq., (215) 792-6676, Ext. 801, [email protected], [email protected], for a free evaluation of potential legal claims:
JBS USA Food Company; Tyson Foods, Inc.; Cargill, Inc.; Cargill Meat Solutions Corp.; Hormel Foods Corp.; American Foods Group, LLC; Triumph Foods, LLC; Seaboard Foods, LLC; National Beef Packing Co., LLC; Iowa Premium LLC; Smithfield Foods Inc.; Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp.; Agri Beef Co.; Washington Beef, LLC; Perdue Farms, Inc.; Agri Stats, Inc.; Webber, Meng, Sahl & Company, Inc. d/b/a WMS & Company, Inc. (collectively, “Defendants” or “Defendant Processors”).
According to a class-action complaint filed on November 11, 2022 in United States District Court for the District of Colorado, since at least 2014, the Defendants have conspired and combined to fix and depress the compensation paid to employees at red meat processing plants in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1.
The class-action complaint alleges that the Defendant Processors have compensated Class Members with hourly wages or annual salaries and employment benefits. Each Defendant Processor, according to the complaint, has established a schedule for hourly wage rates, annual salaries, and employment benefits based on the specific position and years of experience of the Class Members. Further, senior executives of each Defendant Processor established and approved those hourly wage rates, annual salaries, and employment benefits at corporate headquarters during the Class Period. Allegedly, this highly-regimented process for determining compensation allowed Defendant Processors to compare compensation practices – and collectively suppress compensation – across their workforces.
The Defendant Processors, allegedly, implemented, monitored, and enforced their conspiracy to fix and depress compensation paid to Class Members through a series of overt acts, including, for example, “secret compensation surveys, “secret annual meetings,” and “direct communications among executives,” whereby Defendant Processors’ senior executives extensively discussed, compared, and, in turn, further suppressed compensation through email and phone communications. Those conspiratorial communications, according to the complaint, included both group emails to senior executives for purposes of aligning Defendant Processors’ compensation practices and bilateral communications meant to adopt time-sensitive plans for future compensation.
Moreover, in furtherance of their conspiracy to depress Class Members’ wages, the Defendant Processors also, allegedly, entered into illegal “no poach” agreements with each other to refrain from recruiting one another’s employees.
The Defendant Processors, according to the complaint, also engaged in the conspiracy to increase their profits by reducing labor costs, which comprise a substantial share of each Defendant Processor’s total operating costs. The intended and actual effect of Defendants’ conspiracy to fix compensation, allegedly, has been to reduce and suppress the wages, salaries, and benefits paid to Class Members since January 2014 to levels materially lower than they would have been in a competitive market.
IF YOU WERE EMPLOYED BY ONE OF THE AFOREMENTIONED COMPANIES, THEIR SUBSIDIARIES AND/OR RELATED ENTITIES ANYTIME BETWEEN JANUARY 1, 2014 TO THE PRESENT, YOU MAY HAVE LEGAL CLAIMS AND ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT KEHOE LAW FIRM, P.C. FOR A FREE EVALUATION OF POTENTIAL LEGAL CLAIMS.