State Watch

Tyson Foods suspends Iowa plant officials amid coronavirus scandal


Tyson Foods suspended top officials at an Iowa pork processing plant without pay on Thursday amid a COVID-19 scandal that involves allegations of a cash buy-in, winner-take-all betting pool against employees.

Among the claims presented in a recent wrongful death lawsuit against Tyson Foods are that the Waterloo, Iowa, plant remained open even as the coronavirus ripped through the facility in April, and that higher-ups bet on how many employees would end up getting sick.

Tyson Foods CEO Dean Banks said he was “extremely upset” over the claims, and that law firm Covington & Burling LLP will conduct an investigation into the allegations led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, according to The Associated Press.

“If these claims are confirmed, we’ll take all measures necessary to root out and remove this disturbing behavior from our company,” Banks said.

Company spokesman Gary Mickelson stated that Tysons Food would not release the names of the accused officials who were suspended.

The plaintiffs’ attorney Mel Orchard responded to the news of the Tyson suspension, saying he was “happily surprised” but that “it’s not going to change what happened,” the AP reports.

Tyson Foods did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.



Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 COVINGTON & BURLING LLP Eric Holder Tyson Foods Tyson Foods

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