The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday (June 8) that it will hear the challenge petition recently filed by Tyson Foods.
Springdale-based Tyson vowed to appeal the $5.8 million judgment against the meat company upheld by lower courts last year. The case surrounds payment for about 3,300 hourly workers in the company’s meat processing plant in Storm Lake, Iowa, and the time they spent putting on and taking off protective gear required for their jobs dating back to 2005.
Tyson Food argued in its petition that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals improperly certified a class by averaging a sample that included uninjured class members that were in conflict with other circuit courts.
Oral arguments and a ruling are expected during the high court’s next term which begins later this year (October) and runs through summer 2016.
“We were initially involved in this case because federal wage and hour laws are not precise in determining how to compensate certain activities. However, we’re now addressing another aspect of the case: whether there’s enough evidence for the case to be certified as a collective or a class action,” Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson, said in an email statement. “Since even the federal courts of appeal are divided over the requirements necessary to be part of such cases, we asked the U.S. Supreme Court to get involved. We’re pleased our request has been granted and look forward to presenting our position.”