Iowa Public Television


Judge: Texas firm must pay disabled workers $1.4M

posted on September 21, 2012

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that a Texas company must pay disabled workers at an Iowa turkey plant $1.37 million dollars in back pay.
     Henry's Turkey Service had profited for decades by supplying mentally disabled workers at wages of 41 cents per hour.
     The judgment is the third of more than $1 million against the company after state authorities in 2009 shut down a dilapidated bunkhouse in rural Iowa where the men had lived since the 1970s.
     The judge ruled the 32 employees had been paid $65 per month after Henry's improperly deducted fees for room and board, care, transportation and other expenses out of their pay and Social Security checks.
     The amount they were paid never changed during the 30-year period they worked at the plant, regardless of whether they worked more than 40 hours per week.
     The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Tags: agriculture disabled workers employees factory food production Iowa news Texas wages