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3 Chicken Plants to Pay Back Wages to 129 Employees

One company was also hit for employing a 15-year-old minor in meat processing.

The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recently discovered minimum wage and overtime violations at three poultry plants in Mississippi.

Peco Foods in Canton, Koch Foods in Morton, and Pearl River Foods in Carthage, Mississippi will pay $45,719 in back wages to 129 employees.

Investigators say the employers failed to pay final paychecks to multiple workers, which resulted in minimum wage violations. 

The agency also found that Pearl River Foods made illegal deductions from employee paychecks for uniform items, which caused employees’ rates of pay to fall below the federal minimum wage. 

Koch Foods failed to include production bonuses in regular rates of pay when calculating overtime. 

By excluding the bonuses, and basing overtime only on hourly rates, Koch paid overtime at rates lower than those required by law.

Koch was also hit with a $1,693 civil penalty for employing a 15-year-old minor to work in meat processing, which is a prohibited job for workers under 18.

According to the AP, the three plants were targeted as part of U.S. immigration raids last year. It's unclear if the wage investigation is related to the raids.

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