Tyson Foods Manager Had Betting Pool on How Many Workers Would Get COVID

WILKESBORO, NC, USA-19 OCT 2019: Tyson Foods, Inc., a poultry and poultry products plant.


A manager at the Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Waterloo, Iowa is in some hot water.

According to a new lawsuit, manager Tom Hart had set up a winner-take-all betting pool that allowed supervisors to wager on how many workers would catch COVID-19 during the coronavirus pandemic.

The betting poll was set up at a time when the coronavirus pandemic was spreading at a rapid rate throughout the company’s nationwide plants.

“Around this time, Defendant Tom Hart, the Plant Manager of the Waterloo Facility, organized a cash buy-in, winner-take-all betting pool for supervisors and managers to wager how many employees would test positive for COVID-19,” the suit claims, according to the New York Post.

There were also allegations that officials were forcing workers to resume regular activities; at times stopping them from receiving COVID tests.

From the report:

On one occasion, a top plant official, “intercepted a sick supervisor en-route to get tested and ordered the supervisor to get back to work, adding, ‘we all have symptoms—you have a job to do’,” the suit alleges.

The lawsuit is asking for unspecified damages.

At this time, Tyson Foods has not publicly responded to the allegations or lawsuit.

The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.

While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 11.6 million confirmed cases and 250,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.

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