The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

March 15, 2011

Men file lawsuit against firms providing workers at ADM

CLINTON — Two companies that have provided employees who work on the grounds of Clinton’s Archer Daniels Midland plant are being sued by current and former hourly employees claiming violation of state and federal labor laws.

Jacob Cinadr and Robert Edens, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, have filed the class-action federal lawsuit against KBR, Inc., and BE&K Inc., claiming the two Delaware companies violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Iowa Wage Payment Coalition Act.

In their lawsuit, the two men, who are represented by Clinton attorney Dorothy O’Brien, allege that from 2008 to the present, the two companies failed to pay them and possibly more than 257 fellow workers completely for the hours they worked, that they worked well in excess of 40 hours in a given work week, that they were not paid overtime for the extra time over 40 hours and that payroll records fail to accurately record all the hours plaintiffs and other class members had worked.

The two companies are named in the suit because they say the practice began under BE&K, which in the summer of 2008 sold its company to KBR, which became the plaintiffs’ employer. Both companies performed work for ADM in Clinton. According to the lawsuit, Cinadr, was employed with BE&K from March 2008 until the KBR purchase.He remains employed by KBR at the Clinton facility. Edens was employed with KBR from July 2008 through April 16, 2010.

The lawsuit states that they are bringing their FLSA claim as a representative action on behalf of “all persons working in hourly positions at BE&K and or KBR at the Clinton, Iowa Archer Daniels Midland plant from Feb. 1, 2008 to the present.”

The lawsuit specifically alleges that the defendants failed to properly pay the plaintiffs in the following ways:

• By locating the time clock about a half mile from the ADM gate where the plaintiffs are required to enter the plant;

• By requiring that the plaintiffs wear personal protective equipment from the moment they enter the gate, that they be subject to the rules and regulations of the workplace, by subjecting the plaintiffs to security screening at the main gate and by exercising control over the plaintiffs as employees without providing compensation;

• By expecting the plaintiffs to perform tasks on the walk to and from the time clock that constitute principal activities of their work and refusing to pay them for this time;

• By requiring the plaintiffs to perform work before and after their clock-in time and refusing to pay them for it; and

• By failing to pay overtime for hours the plaintiffs work in excess of 40 hours in a given workweek, the defendants violated FLSA's overtime provisions, the lawsuit states.

The men claim that the companies’ alleged failure to pay them federally mandated overtime was a violation of FLSA and the Iowa Wage Payment Collection Act. The two are seeking a jury trial and damages paid to them in an amount that would include lost wages, benefits and liquidated damages.  They also are seeking an order that allows the action to proceed as a class-action lawsuit.

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