Employee Claims Skippy Underpaid for Overtime Work

A former employee alleged in a class-action lawsuit in the Arkansas Eastern District Court on Monday that he and other employees of peanut butter giant Skippy Foods were not compensated accurately for regular overtime work done at a peanut butter factory in Little Rock.

The complaint filed against Skippy Foods LLC and Hormel Foods Corporation by Isiah White alleged the company’s employees were paid overtime wages based on the individual’s hourly wage, not considering bonuses that work into the overall pay. White argued this violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act (AMWA).

White, represented by the Sanford Law Firm, worked at the factory from June 2019 to May 2020 and said he received periodic bonuses on top of his hourly wage along with other employees which were not considered in the calculation of his overtime wages. He claimed the defendants showed “reckless disregard” for whether this action violated the FLSA.

“Defendant paid an improper overtime rate because Defendant determined the regular rate of pay solely based on employees’ hourly rate, without including the value of the nondiscretionary bonuses that Defendant provided to Plaintiff and other bonusing employees,” the complaint stated.

The plaintiff asked for a judgment that the company violated FLSA and AMWA as well as damages for himself and others in the class for unpaid wages during the three years prior to the lawsuit. The lawsuit does not estimate the number of people in the class or the amount owed to the plaintiff. 

Skippy and Hormel Foods were sued last month in a trademark dispute over the color of the lid to its competitor’s new peanut butter product.