For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Koonce: (515) 281-9646
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Nearly $10 Million Civil Penalty Levied Against Agriprocessors, Inc. for Wage Violation
DES MOINES – Iowa’s Labor Commissioner assessed civil penalties against Agriprocessors, Inc. for repeated violations of Iowa’s wage laws from January 1, 2006 to June 30, 2008.
“Once again, Agriprocessors has demonstrated a complete disregard for Iowa Law,” stated Iowa Labor Commissioner Dave Neil. “This continued course of violations is a black mark on Iowa’s business community.”
Agriprocessors, Inc., was assessed a penalty of $339,700 for illegally deducting “sales tax/miscellaneous” costs 3,397 times. 1,073 employees were affected by the unauthorized deductions reducing their pay by $72,189.09. A separate civil penalty, of $100 per incidence, exists for illegally deducting a charge for frocks. This deduction occurred in 96,436 separate incidences resulting in a $9,643,600 penalty. 2,001 employees had their wages illegally reduced by $192,597.36. Additionally, Aggriprocessors, Inc. failed to pay 42 employees their last paychecks on May 16th and May 23rd following the Immigration & Customs Enforcement raid. Due to the overlapping nature of pay periods, seven individuals were shorted two paychecks. The company has been assessed a penalty of $4,900 for this violation. In total, $9,988,200 in civil penalties was assessed and Agriprocessors, Inc. owes $264,786.45 in back wages.
Agriprocessors, Inc. has 30 days to contest the proposed penalties in writing. If a hearing is not requested within 30 days, all proposed penalties become the final action of the department. An additional wage investigation is still pending with the company that could potentially lead to additional civil penalties.