JBS Faces COVID Protocol Negligence Accusations

Employees were allegedly charged for the tests, and visibly ill employees encouraged to work.

 

By Unit 202 Productions, Eric Sorensen and David Mantey, Manufacturing Business Technology

Oct 13th, 2020

 

A pair of whistleblowers have gone public regarding COVID-19 screening protocols at the JBS USA beef plant in Greeley, Colorado.

 

According to the Greeley Tribune, the two women were brought into the JBS plant to screen employees for COVID-19 after a coronavirus outbreak.

 

The women say that the screening equipment provided didn't function properly, employees were charged for the tests, and visibly ill employees were encouraged to work.

 

Sarah-Jean Buck is a licensed medical assistant who was hired through temp agency Medix to conduct the screenings starting May 10, 2020. Buck was in the role for about two months before she quit after being told that she should've cleared a visibly sick worker. According to the affidavit, Buck sent the worker home because she was symptomatic and couldn't afford to take the $100 COVID-19 test --which workers had to pay for out of pocket if insurance didn't cover it. .

 

In the affidavit, Buck also says that supervisors helped employees come up with excuses for symptoms. For example, they asked workers with a cough if they slept with the window open, which would justify the symptom.

 

In a statement to the Greeley Tribune, JBS disputes the "unsubstantiated claims from a disgruntled temporary employee." The company says it's screening process has been reviewed and approved by multiple authorities, including the CDC.

 

Another temporary worker, Erica Villegas, alleges that JBS did little to accommodate non-English speaking employees.

 

Both former temp employees experienced issues with temperature guns at the screening checkpoint, including frequent irregular reading from 84.7 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit, but they were brushed off by safety personnel. Buck even admits that she broke the gun by accidentally dropping it and couldn't read the temperature on the display, but was told to carry on.

 

The outbreak at JBS in Colorado infected 294 employees. Six workers died. On September 16, 2020, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union...

 

more, including video report [3:18 min.]  

https://www.mbtmag.com/home/video/21198019/jbs-faces-covid-protocol-negligence-accusations