One of the managers who was fired from a processing plant in Iowa is speaking up about his involvement in the busted supervisor gambling ring. He claims the betting pool concerning how many employees would fall ill with COVID-19 was a ‘morale booster’ and was not as bad as the company had made it out to be.
A night manager at the plant remains the only individual to have spoken out since being fired from his position in mid-December. Allegations and lawsuits surrounding an illegal workplace gambling ring were at the core of the investigation that led to the employee’s firing, as well as the termination of 6 other supervisors. Since he is not a named defendant in the wrongful death lawsuit related to this gambling ring, he expressed some comfort in speaking out about the scenario.
He said, the managers “worked very hard and took care of [their] team members well.” He and the other involved managers did not believe the 50 dollars in the betting pool violated any company policies. So, minutes after the mass COVID-19 testing conducted throughout the plant in May, the seven managers placed their bets.
He noted that the supervisors were just as exhausted and concerned as their employees when working through the pandemic. He stated that the betting was “simply something fun, kind of a morale boost for having put forth an incredible effort. There was never any malicious intent. It was never meant to disparage anyone.”
Despite all of the information about this scenario available in the news, other fired supervisors are claiming that they were let go without explanation. County officials also got involved and called the company out for not providing workers with the proper protective equipment at the start of the pandemic.
All of the contradicting claims from the management figures, Country Officials, and headquarter representatives provide more questions than answers. Are the fired managers really at fault for the infection rate and deaths of 6 employees, or are the company headquarters to blame for improper preparation? Gambling in relation to the wellbeing of employees is deplorable, but it is still impossible to say if the focus on these specific managers is not being used to draw public attention away from an overall failure of company values.
This scenario stands to display the dire importance of having strong and well-communicated company values that are upheld by all employees. First Response is proud to offer employee training that covers proper conduct at all levels of management. If the values of this company were well communicated and the involved managers were aware of how inappropriate gambling is within the workplace, this situation could have been preventable. Even if the gambling occurred after proper training, the company would still benefit by being able to reasonably dispute any claims of employees being unaware of what constitutes inappropriate behavior. If you are looking to ensure a safe, ethical, and respectful working environment then First Response would be happy to help!