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Chicken Cos. To Pay Combined $85M in Wage Conspiracy Suit


September 13, 2022

Cargill Meat Solutions, Sanderson Farms and Wayne Farms will pay a combined total of $84.8 million to settle allegations the poultry companies illegally conspired to keep their wages low, according to a proposed agreement filed in Maryland federal court.

Specifically, Cargill will pay $15 million, Sanderson will pay $38.3 million and Wayne will pay $31.5 million to settlement classes of workers. Under the deals, the companies have also agreed to cooperate with the workers in their case against the remaining defendant companies in the litigation, the workers said in a motion for preliminary approval filed Friday.

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The workers had accused the poultry processors of holding clandestine meetings and sharing information in an effort to keep wages low for hundreds of thousands of workers at their facilities. The companies named in the 2019 suit own and run roughly 200 poultry plants in the U.S., according to the complaint.

The poultry workers have already settled with several other companies, and, to date, they’ve recovered a total of $134.6 million, according to Friday’s filing.

. . .

The workers are represented by Steve W. Berman, Shana E. Scarlett, Rio S. Pierce, Breanna Van Engelen and Abigail D. Pershing of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Benjamin D. Brown, Brent W. Johnson, Daniel Silverman and Alison S. Deich of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, and George F. Farah, Rebecca P. Chang, Matthew K. Handley and Stephen Pearson of Handley Farah & Anderson PLLC.

Read Chicken Cos. To Pay Combined $85M in Wage Conspiracy Suit.