Boxer Mike Tyson’s cannabidiol processing company is on the receiving end of a proposed collective action filed by former employees who claim they were not paid proper overtime wages.
According to the 11-page lawsuit out of Tennessee, defendants Tyson Ranch Processing, LLC; Tyson Holistic Holdings, Inc.; and Robert A. Hickman, Tyson’s business partner, have required hourly employees, specifically line techs and shift leads, to put in an average of 60 hours per week without paying time-and-a-half overtime wages for hours worked in excess of 40.
The five named plaintiffs say they were fired in retaliation for complaining about the defendants’ apparent wage and hour violations.
Tyson Ranch Processing was formed in 2016, when once former and possibly current boxer Mike Tyson partnered with Hickman “with the goal of creating the best CBD extraction processes within the cannabis industry and with a holistic approach.”
The plaintiffs, who worked as line techs and shift leads, say their job duties included producing and manufacturing CBD isolate from raw hemp biomass for retail sale.
Per the complaint, hourly employees were often required to work 18-hour days and frequently put in at least 60 hours per week.
According to the suit, the defendants failed to pay workers for time spent working off the clock, including during 15-minute “pass down” meetings before each scheduled shift, post-shift weekly meetings, and for other time spent performing duties outside of their scheduled hours.
Moreover, the case claims employees’ overtime hours were transferred over as “paid time off” at their regular rate of pay instead of the statutory time-and-a-half rate.
The plaintiffs allege the apparent wage violations were intentional, claiming they were told by management that the defendants did not pay overtime “no matter how many hours were worked per week.”
“Defendants knowingly, willfully, or with reckless disregard carried out their illegal pattern or practice of failing to pay overtime compensation with respect to Plaintiffs and Class Members in both California and Tennessee,” the complaint scathes.
The plaintiffs look to represent all former hourly paid employees (line techs and shift leads) who worked for the defendants during the applicable limitations period.
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