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Beef Co. Faces Heat For Discovery Misdeeds In Wage Suit

Posted: November 3, 2011
By: Jonathan Randles
Source: Law360
Practice Areas: Employment Law

A Nebraska federal judge blasted Nebraska Beef Ltd. on Thursday for serious discovery violations in a class action accusing the meatpacking company of failing to pay workers for time spent donning and doffing protective gear, but refused to hand employees an immediate win.

The ruling, handed down by U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Bataillon, comes months after he granted a mistrial, determining Nebraska Beef failed to produce court-ordered logs showing the company was in compliance with sanitation procedures.

Though the court denied the employees' motion for default judgment, Judge Bataillon ordered the company to pay costs and attorneys' fees associated with preparation for trials that occurred in January and May, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and to cover any additional costs related to the employees' motion for sanctions.

Judge Bataillon said Nebraska Beef acted in bad faith, and warned the company that although the court wouldn't grant default at this time, if there were any more significant issues in the case he would likely grant default in favor of the employees on the issue of liability.

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