Meatpacking workers are essential workers, but they have been neglected and left out of the state's pandemic response. Government inaction and business negligence led to hundreds of hospitalizations and dozens of deaths.

Some plants refused to do even the bare minimum. 

Noah's Ark Processors, which operates a beef processing plant in Hastings, Nebraska, neglected to take obvious public health precautions — physical distancing, adequate sick leave, testing, and clean masks — to protect its workers and the surrounding community.

Plaintiff Alma (a pseudonym to protect her from retaliation) said workers had been terrified that they would get COVID-19 and hoped that through litigation, the courts would establish a clear baseline of COVID-19 protections plants must provide.

The case was unsuccessful, as the judge determined only current employees of the plant could bring such a lawsuit and Alma and co-plaintiffs were either not employees no longer employed at the plant.

Although one door closes with the Court’s decision, the work continues. While officials work to provide vaccines to everyone who wants one, we will continue advocating for our state government and OSHA to ensure common-sense, pandemic-specific protections so that no one has to put their health at risk simply to provide for their family