Perdue Farms agreed to settle two class action lawsuits in Maryland and Colorado brought by plaintiffs who alleged the company improperly shared wage and benefits information to depress compensation in violation of U.S. antitrust laws.
Plaintiffs in Jien et al v. Perdue Farms Inc., originally filed in 2019 in U.S. District Court in Maryland, accused executives at 18 chicken processors of exchanging compensation data for production and maintenance workers for a decade. Perdue agreed to pay $60.65 million to settle the claims.
The processor also agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle a second compensation antitrust case involving its pork business, Brown et al v. JBS USA Food Co., in U.S. District Court in Colorado.
The company, in a statement on Wednesday, said it agreed to settle the cases to avoid the expense of protracted litigation.
“To be clear, we deny these allegations, and Perdue’s record of competitive wages and benefits speaks for itself,” company spokesperson Andrea Staub said.