Cargill Meat Solutions has settled a class-action lawsuit brought by workers seeking back pay for donning and doffing at its Schuyler, Neb., meatpacking plant. According to AP reports, Cargill had been headed to trial over the federal lawsuit but agreed to pay eligible current and former workers $4 to $6 for each week they were denied the extra pay since April 2006. It also agreed to pay $2,000 to each of the two former workers who files lawsuits in the case and nearly $822,000 to the workers’ attorneys.

Those who were in jobs that required the most equipment, such as mesh work clothes, could get $6 a week, while those who donned the minimum equipment could get $4, according to the settlement. Those who didn't need extra equipment to perform their jobs won't get a payment.

Former Cargill workers sued last year, saying hourly employees spend a substantial amount of time each day on work duties without getting paid. Those duties include dressing in protective gear, sanitizing tools, and walking to and from work stations.

The plaintiffs said in their filings that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires the company to pay for preparation and cleanup time.

Source: Associated Press, BusinessWeek