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Tyson Foods

Managers Fired for COVID ‘Betting Pool’ Sue Tyson Foods

Dec. 1, 2022
They allege they’re owed money for meeting production goals during the pandemic.

Six former managers at a Tyson Foods plant, who were fired for betting on how many plant employees would contract COVID, are suing Tyson for extra pay they claim they’re owed.

The six were fired, along with one other manager who is not a party to the lawsuit, in December 2020. While employed at the Tyson pork processing plant in Waterloo, Iowa, the six started a pool to bet on how many employees there would catch COVID. According to an account in the Des Moines Register, one of the six says they started the betting pool as “a team-building exercise.”

The six are alleging in separate lawsuits that Tyson owes them some $300,000 in “incentive pay” for meeting production quotas during the pandemic.

An earlier lawsuit against Tyson, filed on behalf of an employee who died of COVID, charges that, in addition to the betting pool, the managers lied to workers about the danger of COVID – while avoiding the plant floor themselves, to the point of leaving operations in the hands of inexperienced employees.

About the Author

Pan Demetrakakes | Senior Editor

Pan has written about the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. His areas of coverage have included formulations, processing, packaging, marketing and retailing. Pan worked for Food Processing Magazine for six years in the 1990s, where he was operations editor (his current role), touring dozens of food plants of every description. He has also worked for Packaging and Food & Beverage Packaging magazines, the latter as chief editor, during which he won three ASBPE awards. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communications.

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