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Chicken Plant Workers and Unpaid Work at Rehab Centers

Recent reporting has made us aware that chicken processing companies in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and possibly other states have been relying on workers provided by addiction rehab centers, located mostly in Oklahoma.  It is our understanding from this reporting as well as recently filed lawsuits that drug courts in Oklahoma and possibly other states are placing individuals arrested on drug charges or other non-violent crimes into these so-called rehab centers for addiction treatment and rehabilitation. Instead of receiving treatment, rehab center clients are told that they must work or be sent to jail. Individuals often work in chicken processing plants, but receive no wage (or very low pay) for their work. Since people sent to these rehab centers are understandably afraid to go to prison, they work for no wages, face harsh conditions, and are frequently injured on the job.  Ultimately, rehab centers end up pocketing workers’ wages.

Our law firm is interested in hearing from men and women who’ve spent time working for little or no pay as part of an addiction rehab program.  We believe that these rehab centers could be in violation of federal and/or state wage and hour laws and could owe rehab  center participants back wages for hours worked.

Through this reporting, we are aware that several rehab centers may be violating federal wage and hour laws, including:

  • Drug and Alcohol Recovery Program a/k/a DARP (workers sent to Simmons Foods chicken plants)
  • TPN, LLC d/b/a The People's Network (workers sent to George’s Inc. and Tyson chicken plants)
  • Northeastern Oklahoma Council on Alcoholism a/k/a N.O.C.A. (workers sent to Simmons Foods and Tyson)
  • Freedom from Addiction through Christ d/b/a The Ark a/k/a FFATC (workers sent to Tyson and Simmons Foods)

No one should be forced into unpaid labor. If you were forced to work rather than face prison at any of these or other rehab centers,  we’re interested in hearing from you.  If you have any questions about this investigation or would like to discuss your potential claims, please contact us.