Pork processing plant under investigation for possible wage theft

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2023 | Employment Law

Workers in Minnesota should not have to worry that they won’t be paid fairly and in a timely manner. Unfortunately, some employers take advantage of workers by not paying the agreed-upon wage and not providing payment when it’s expected. In some cases, vulnerable workers like those on H2-B visas, may not be aware of their rights when it comes to fair pay. The recently closed HyLife pork processing plant is being investigated by the state for not paying wages to workers, some of whom were in the United States with a work visa.  

Details of the investigation  

The state of Minnesota just launched an investigation into the payment practices of the HyLife pork processing plant in Windom. The plant was recently purchased and shut down, leaving 1000 employees without jobs. The state believes that the plant may have violated the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act and the Minnesota Payment of Wages Act.  

The violations, related to wages and work hours, may have occurred from May 2021 to the time of the plant’s closing. The workers with H2-B visas had 10 days after the plant closed to either find another job or return to their home country. Sadly, many of these workers may have already left the United States without the wages they were due. 

Employees should seek legal advice 

When an employee feels that they have not been paid fairly, or that their employer was in violation of the state’s labor laws, they have legal rights. Minnesota workers who have been treated unlawfully can benefit from speaking with an attorney. In some cases, the employee may have the right to seek compensation from their employer through a civil lawsuit.