December 6, 2001 — PORTLAND, OR — More than two dozen employees at the Wacker Siltronic plant are suing the wafer maker for allegedly failing to pay the workers for time spent changing in and out of cleanroom garments.
The lawsuits, filed in U.S. District Court and Multnomah County Circuit Court, accuse Wacker of violating federal and state labor laws, according to a report in the Oregonian newspaper. The workers are seeking unspecified overtime wages and penalty wages, as well as fines again Wacker.
The suit was initially filed by former employee Michael Ballaris who said he spent 40 minutes changing in and out of two bunny suits and shoes every day since he began working there in 1990. Ballaris now works for Fujitsu Microelectronics.
Shortly after Ballaris filed his suit, a U.S. District Court judge opened the suit to other workers who worked in the facility between November 1997 and November 2000, the article reported. More than 25 other people have joined Ballaris in suing the company.
A Wacker spokesperson dismissed the suit, saying it lacked merit.