TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Monday, April 27, 2020

Workers Sue Smithfield Foods Over COVID-19 Working Conditions

Workers have sued Smithfield, which operates a number of meat-processing plants, over working conditions related to COVID-19.  The workers are not suing for money damages, but an injunction to force Smithfield to comply with CDC and public health guidelines:

The suit, brought by a plant worker identified as Jane Doe and by a nonprofit that advocates for plant workers, accuses Smithfield of failing to provide workers with sufficient protective equipment; forcing them to work shoulder to shoulder; giving them insufficient opportunities to wash their hands; discouraging them from taking sick leave; and failing to implement a plan for testing and contact tracing.

Smithfield has had trouble with COVID-19:

Smithfield's South Dakota plant, which handles 5% of U.S. pork production, has become a coronavirus hot spot, with 783 workers testing positive for the virus so far and two of them dying. The first worker there tested positive for the virus on March 24, but the plant was not closed until April 14.

NPR has the story.

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