State Watch

Tyson fires 7 after probe into managers coronavirus betting

Tyson Foods terminated seven employees at its plant in Waterloo, Iowa, after completing a probe into managers betting on how many workers would contract the coronavirus.

The probe began in November after a lawsuit was filed alleging that management created a “cash buy-in, winner-take-all” betting pool for how many employees would get sick from the virus.  The investigation was led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

“The behaviors exhibited by these individuals do not represent the Tyson core values, which is why we took immediate and appropriate action to get to the truth,” Tyson Foods CEO Dean Banks said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Now that the investigation has concluded, we are taking action based on the findings.” 

The company said it traveled to Waterloo to meet with team members and community leaders to “reinforce Tyson’s commitment to them and the community.”

Banks said he has asked Holder to help the company as it works to “enhance a trusting and respectful workplace.”

The lawsuit was filed by Oscar Fernandez, whose father died after contracting COVID-19 in April while on the job as the plant remained open despite the pandemic.

Fernandez also alleged that Tysons required its employees to work long hours and failed to provide appropriate personal protective equipment, and didn’t implement sufficient social distancing or safety measures to protect workers.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Eric Holder Iowa Tyson Foods

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