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Tyson Foods Loses to|Labor Department

(CN) - Tyson Foods Inc., one of the nation's largest poultry producers, has been found in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act at its Blountsville, Ala., facility.

The jury's verdict in federal court in Birmingham resulted from a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor against the company.

"We are very pleased that the jury in Birmingham has vindicated our position that employers must pay their workers for the time that they are required to work," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, according to a department news release. The Secretary attributed success to years of dedicated efforts and over 250 new staff members.

In the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, the Labor Department alleged that Tyson Foods did not keep accurate records and failed to pay production line employees for the time they spent putting on and taking off safety and sanitary gear, and performing other related work activities. The violations began in 2000, and affect approximately 3,000 current and former workers.

The Labor Department was represented by attorneys from the agency's Office of the Solicitor in Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

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