The meat industry has been in the news a lot recently with stories related to unsafe practices or recall notices for meat from certain plants or areas. Colorado is known as a meat industry hub with its many cattle farms and beef industry history. Recently, a worker in a meat-packing plant came forward with a suit alleging that she was the victim of wrongful termination.
The woman worked at the Smithfield Packing Co. plant from 2012 until nearly the end of 2013 when she was terminated. She alleges that she was terminated after coming forward about unsafe meat distributing and packaging processes that she witnessed. In paperwork filed on her behalf, the company has not provided a reason for her suspension and eventual termination.
The worker claims that there were multiple incidents of unsafe and unlawful practices during her employment with the company. On one occasion, she alleges that she took pictures of meat contaminated with hydraulic fluid. She says this meat was then packaged and sent out for distribution.
Whenever someone reports behavior or practices that are unsafe or unlawful in the workplace, supervisors have a general duty to address those concerns. When they act to terminate the person who came forward, there are a number of legal options for that worker who feels they were the victim of wrongful termination. While wrongful termination in Colorado or elsewhere may sometimes be difficult to prove, a successful case can mean that a victim gets his or her job back. Victims may even be provided back and forward wages for the job they were prevented from doing.
Source: fayobserver.com:, Former Smithfield Packing Co. worker claims wrongful termination in lawsuit, Michael Futch, Feb. 14, 2014