Staffing agencies used by Livingston Foster Farms fined $3.8M for COVID leave violations

LIVINGSTON, Calif. (KFSN) -- Staffing agencies are being cited for millions following an investigation into COVID-19 workplace practices at the Foster Farms plant in Livingston.

The California Labor Commissioner said three temporary staffing agencies and Foster Farms owe nearly $3.8 million.

RELATED: Foster Farms fined $174,275 after deadly COVID-19 outbreak in Merced County

Investigators said Foster Farms worked with the agencies to hire temporary workers to cover for those on COVID-19 leave, but they found those employees were not made aware of their own COVID-19 leave benefits.

Human Bees Inc., Viking Staffing CA LLC, and Marcos Reneteria Ag Services Inc. are accused of failing to inform nearly 3,500 temporary workers about their available COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave.

Action News reached out to all four companies. Foster Farms said it is reviewing the administrative action and requires all vendors to follow federal and state laws.

RELATED: Fresno health official tipped off Foster Farms about surprise inspection: Report

The investigation into the Foster Farms plant opened in 2020 after a series of COVID-19 outbreaks.

At that time, hundreds of workers had tested positive, and at least nine lost their lives.

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