In April 2020, a worker rights group filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), claiming that a number of meat processing companies failed to protect their workers from coronavirus hazards and were held responsible for serious COVID-19 outbreaks at their facilities. Following two inspections of the relevant sites, OSHA filed suits against these companies.

On 27 May 2022, the parties of the dispute reached an agreement to settle the case. Together with a penalty, commitments were defined to force the engagement in more effective prevention. Under the agreement, the companies will collaborate with third-party experts to assess their operating procedures and develop an infectious disease preparedness plan. The agreement will also lead to an updated Safe Work Playbook with a focus on reducing COVID-19 exposure among workers. The companies will also pay an OSHA assessed penalty of $14,502. Workers preserve their rights to seek compensation with independent lawsuits.

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OSHA Press Release