Brazilian prosecutors file another suit against meatpacker JBS for coronavirus conduct

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 13 (Reuters)Federal labor prosecutors in Brazil have filed a civil suit against food processor Seara Alimentos, a division of meatpacking giant JBS SA JBSS3.SA, for failing to protect its workers from the coronavirus at two plants in the southern state of Santa Catarina, they said in a statement on Tuesday.

Prosecutors allege that the company did not adequately test employees at the two facilities in the town of Itapiranga. They also claimed that it did not properly isolate workers with symptoms of the COVID-19 and brought employees back to work too soon after quarantine, among other issues.

JBS has had thousands of infections at its plants in Brazil, and prosecutors and inspectors have alleged similar conduct at the company’s facilities throughout the region. This is the eighteenth civil lawsuit Brazilian labor prosecutors have brought against the company, they said in the statement.

JBS did not have an immediate comment.

The firm has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and defended the manner in which it protects workers, saying that employee health is the company’s “principal priority.”

(Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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