George's Processing Inc. has agreed to pay $1,235,000 in back wages to 5,482 current and former employees of its Cassville, Mo., poultry processing plant for uncompensated overtime hours. The employees were not paid for time spent putting on (donning) and taking off (doffing) protective clothing and other gear, and walking to and from the changing area to their work stations.The settlement is the latest step in the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) initiative started several years ago to compel poultry processors to pay their workers for all hours worked. The DOL is actively researching other poultry processors to assure that companies also pay their employees for all hours worked and comply with the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In addition to the back wage payment, the judgment also enjoins George's Processing from future violations of the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the FLSA. Under the terms of the judgment, the company agreed, without admission of liability, to locate and pay back wages to all current and former employees over a period of the next 12 months.The period covered in this judgment is November 19, 2000 to April 15, 2006. The FLSA requires employers to pay employees the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and time and one-half the regular rate of pay for hours worked more than 40 in a week unless the employee is exempt from overtime pay.