Smithfield Meats Corp. Sued for Workplace Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

Smithfield Fresh Meats Corp. filed to remove a workplace discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit on Thursday from Nebraska state court to the District of Nebraksa, asserting it should be removed because the subject matter falls under federal law.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff is a female resident of Lincoln, Nebraska who was assigned to work for Smithfield Fresh Meats Corp., a Virginia corporation, as a Gatekeeper by LSI Temporary Services on April 3, 2020. 

The plaintiff alleges that on July 27, 2020, she was subject to severe and pervasive sexual comments by one of the defendant’s employees while she was trying to take a smoke break. The plaintiff states that she rejected his proposition stating she was happily married which led the defendant’s employee to respond with lewd comments about her husband. 

The complaint states that the plaintiff immediately reported the incident to her supervisor, but she was unable to provide the employee’s name. The plaintiff further states that she stopped taking smoke breaks in order to avoid the employee, but he nonetheless approached her three more times in one night. 

Following the second incident, the complaint purports that the plaintiff again reported the incident and the employee to her supervisor. The complaint states that during this report, the plaintiff’s supervisor informed her that she personally never took action or informed anyone else about the plaintiff’s report. Due to the supervisor’s inaction, the plaintiff alleges that she complained to LSI Temporary Services about the harassment and the defendant’s inaction. The plaintiff claims that in response to her complaints, LSI and the defendant removed her from her assignment at Smithfield Meats. 

The plaintiff further states that she has suffered severe anxiety and panic attacks as a result of the harassment and has required subsequent mental health treatment. 

The plaintiff brings two causes of action, sex discrimination and harassment and retaliation; she seeks declaratory judgment, damages for lost wages and benefits, emotional damages, humiliation and damage to reputation, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs. 

The plaintiff is represented by the Shiffermiller Law Office. Smithfield is represented by Polsinelli PC and Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP