Poultry processing plant to pay $1.2 million in back wages and damages for denied overtime

Oct. 3, 2023
The employers created shell companies in an effort to hide overtime violations, which occurred from 2015 to 2020.

An investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) found that the operators of La Puente poultry processing plant denied overtime wages earned by 113 workers and tried to hide the wage theft. Workers were told to forge timesheets and were threatened if they attempted to cooperate with the investigation. In addition, the employers created shell companies in an effort to hide overtime violations, which occurred from 2015 to 2020. 

The department has been investigating TL Foods Inc. and its owner Lily ‘Mei’ Tseng, Express Poultry Services Inc. and its owner Jimmy Huynh, and joint employers Aiwa Tang-Ton, Kevin Truong and KP Poultry Inc. for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled that Tseng and TL Foods Inc. will have to pay more than $1 million in back wages and damages, and Huynh and Express Poultry Services Inc. will have to pay $210,438 in back wages and damages to the affected workers. Tang-Ton, Truong and KP Poultry Inc. have agreed to pay $531,518 in back wages, liquidated damages and interest to affected workers, and $20,000 in civil money penalties.

In a recent quote, Wage and Hour Division District Director Daniel Pasquil said, “Poultry processing workers often spend long hours doing physically demanding work that helps to feed our communities and yet they are among the most vulnerable to exploitation and retaliation. The Wage and Hour Division has always focused on helping vulnerable workers, and this case sends a signal to industry employers that we will not tolerate their failure to respect the dignity of workers and meet their legal responsibilities.”

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