By Dakota News Now staff
Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 12:28 PM CDT|Updated: 9 hours ago

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Smithfield says OSHA’s citation that it failed to protect its employees from COVID-19 is “without merit” and plans to contest it as a union representing thousands of meatpacking plant workers called the citation “a slap on the wrist.”

On Thursday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Smithfield in Sioux Falls for failing to protect its employees from exposure to COVID-19 and proposed a $13,494 fine.

1,294 Smithfield employees contracted COVID-19 in spring 2020, leading to the deaths of four employees.