Tyson Foods announced it had suspended managers accused of betting on how many workers would be infected with COVID-19 during an outbreak at its pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, earlier this year.
According to CBS News, there were at least five deaths out of more than 1,000 employees that were infected in early May. The facility was forced to temporarily shut down after an outcry from local officials and some lawmakers.
Tyson, the largest meat producer in the U.S., employs 2,800 people at that facility. Two wrongful death lawsuits filed against the company claim managers at the plant callously set up a betting pool, wagering on how many workers would become ill and even pressured workers with symptoms to continue showing up for work, the suits contend.
In a statement, Dean Banks, Tyson’s president and CEO, said Thursday, “We are extremely upset about the accusations involving some of the leadership at our Waterloo plant.”
Banks revealed that those employees allegedly involved have been suspended without pay and Tyson has retained former Attorney General Eric Holder to lead an investigation into the claims. Banks said if the claims are confirmed, Tyson will “take all measures necessary to root out and remove this disturbing behavior from our company.”