Workers are seeking an unspecified amount for uncompensated services and time, as well as their legal costs.
The lawsuit claims Creekstone Farms has a practice of paying hourly meat processing employees based on a principle of so-called gang time. It contends workers are typically paid only for the time that their assigned production lines are running, along with 10 minutes a day to put on their protective clothing. The suit also contends the company failed to pay for overtime.
"The failure of an employer of food processing employees to pay the employees for all their compensable time is a common occurrence," said Mark Kistler, the Overland Park attorney representing the workers. "It seems the employers have an attitude of `catch me if you can.'
Creekstone Farms' marketing director, Jim Rogers, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Sanchez, who quit her job at the plant last month, said that the harassment that she received after the father of one of her daughters was injured on the job led her to file the lawsuit.
"Perhaps if they had left me to work in peace -- even if they didn't pay me for the hours -- I would have food for my children and would be able to help pay for my children's school," she said. "But they behaved this way with me."
Sources: Associated Press, Bloomberg Businessweek