Lyons v. Conagra Foods Packaged Foods LLC, No. 17-3134 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' claims against ConAgra in an action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act. Plaintiffs alleged that they were entitled to compensation for time spent donning and doffing their protective equipment.
The court held that plaintiffs' claims under the FLSA failed where ConAgra did not create a custom or practice under the 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement for employees not to be compensated for donning and doffing their protective equipment. Rather, ConAgra continued a custom or practice that was in effect under the 2008 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Furthermore, the union and its employees have not objected to this practice. After reviewing Gerber Prods. Co. v. Hewitt, 492 S.W. 3d 856 (Ark. 2016), Act 914, and the codified text of the Act, the court predicted that if this issue were before the Arkansas Supreme Court today, it would not follow Gerber but would instead apply the terms of the parties' Collective Bargaining Agreement. Finally, the court held that plaintiffs' claim for "tool time" was correctly viewed as de minimis.