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Brazil: Complaints reveal JBS’ failure to take measures to protect workers from COVID-19; court condemns the company to pay a R$ 1 million fine

A court ordered JBS to pay R$ 1 million ($194,000) in damages over its failure to take measures to protect workers from a COVID-19 outbreak, according to a statement from labor prosecutors. According to the ruling, the company should also provide the workers at plant with protective masks and individual lockers. The workers also should stay at least two meters apart. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) stated that, during the Covid-19 pandemic, JBS’ workers in Brazil and in the U.S. have reported a culture where paid sick leave is lacking and where rules and norms around social distancing and wearing face masks were routinely not enforced. They also denounced that the virus has entered the Dourados Indigenous reserve through JBS employees who tested positive; more than 150 residents were eventually infected, 90 percent of whom were directly or indirectly associated with JBS.

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