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Deli Products Manufacturer Owes $3M for Overtime Violations

Most of the workers may not have understood their overtime rights.

A joint investigation into a meat processing and packaging plant in Elk Grove, Illinois, has uncovered $3 million in back wages, damages and interest for 283 workers following violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law.

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and the Illinois Office of the Attorney General discovered that deli products manufacturer Greenridge Farms Inc. paid workers a single rate for their hours worked from at least 2013 to 2022. However, the company is legally obligated to compensate its employees at a rate of time and a half for any hours over 40 in a work week.

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Investigators discovered that Greenridge Farms would issue employee checks for the first 40 hours and then cover all overtime hours with cash payments. Subpoenaed records from the company also revealed the occasional use of a second set of books to compensate straight time for overtime hours.

Tom Gauza, a wage and hour district director in Chicago, explained that most of the affected workers may not have understood their rights to overtime and said that these recovered wages would significantly impact their lives.

A signed consent decree requires Greenridge Farms to pay the $3 million penalty in installments from December 2023 to October 2025. The payment includes $1.5 million in back wages and liquidated damages owed to 193 workers during the maximum investigative period from May 2019 to May 2022.

Greenridge Farms owners and KLC Global Services, the company that performs the Elk Grove plant’s management and payroll functions, deny violating the Illinois Minimum Wage Law or any other statute or law but decided to enter into a consent decree to resolve the matter.

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