Food Law Weekly News Roundup 2/22
Food companies contesting OSHA fines for Covid-19 violations
Food companies including Smithfield, JBS USA, and Conagra Brands have yet to pay the fines filed by OSHA in response to Covid-19 safety violations. All three companies have appealed the citations claiming they are “without merit” as OSHA had not issued guidance on how to protect workers from the virus at the time of the alleged violations. These companies won’t be required to pay the fines or fix the problems until the appeals process is complete, which could take years. The disputed fines are relatively small, averaging $13,000.
Owner of largest Black-owned McDonald’s franchise suing the chain for racist policies
Herbert Washington, a Black owner of 14 McDonald’s franchises, filed a civil rights lawsuit against the company for showing favorable treatment to white owners and denying him the opportunity to purchase restaurants in more affluent communities. By limiting Black owners to older stores in low income communities, which cost more to operate and are less profitable overall, the Black franchisees are unable to “realize the full benefit of their labors.” This is the fifth racial discrimination suit filed against McDonald’s within he past 13 months.