SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Three former workers are individually suing Northwest Iowa Pork in Woodbury County for firing them in retaliation of filing complaints to OSHA.
Jose Magana, Jose Moreno, and Luix Aceves worked at Northwest Iowa Pork and all believed they and their coworkers were unsafe due to lack of protective eyewear, having to stan on cold floors without mats, failure to address repetitive injuries, and other various issues, according to court documents.
They took their concerns to supervisors, but the documents said that the supervisors “paid lip service” and didn’t make any changes.
The three then filed complaints to Iowa OSHA in June 2018. OSHA conducted an on-site investigation on July 5 and did follow-up interviews two weeks later.
The complaint says that in September 2018, the three were packaging product and banged the bottom of a box on the roller table. A supervisor reportedly said the action was against company policy. Aceves claims he heard a supervisor say “that takes care of them.”
The next day, the three were fired for each violating company policy and damaging company property. The Three said that other employees have done the practice for years with some going on to supervisory positions. Additionally, the company never warned discipline, suspend or fire other employees for hitting the boxes on the roller table.
Magana, Moreno, and Aceves are suing Northwest Iowa Pork for wrongful discharg in violation of public policy, violation Iowa’s OSHA Act for retaliated against an employee.
Magana, Moreno, and Aceves asking for lost and future wages, lost and future benefits, damages for pain and suffering, punitive damages for the company’s violation, costs and attorney fees, and other relief the court deems appropriate.