Smithfield Sued for Employment Violations After Allegedly Unequal COVID Practices

Ramon Baez filed a complaint against Smithfield Foods Inc., alleging the defendant engaged in workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation against the plaintiff.

The complaint alleges that the plaintiff’s supervisors and HR representatives repeatedly singled him out for taking precaution by wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic despite having a child with a disability that made them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and forced him and not his Caucasian coworkers to repeatedly test after a positive test result sent him home.

The complaint cites other instances of discriminatory behavior against the plaintiff: the plaintiff’s supervisor physically moved the plaintiff into a designated smoking area despite the plaintiff’s close-proximity to it, management terminated the plaintiff for harassment of an employee who was known to be difficult and incendiary in the workplace.

The plaintiff seeks the following for relief: the requirement of the defendant to abolish discrimination and retaliation, to allocate funding to training to implement changes within two years, to remove of all supervisors who engaged in harassment and retaliation, to create a process for prompt investigation of discrimination, and to initiate mandatory training for all employees on workplace discrimination. The plaintiff also seeks all negative documentation expunged from their personal record as well as an award of compensatory and punitive damages.

The plaintiff is represented by The Spitz Law Firm LLC.