UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A Utah County company is accused of not doing enough to protect its workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a former employee has filed a lawsuit.
The protein bar company Built Bar is accused of making employees work in close quarters and not providing a sanitary work environment.
A 12-page amended complaint alleges Built Bar put company profits over its people.
One of Built Bar’s former employees Victoria Florez, her daughter, and roommate are suing the company for more than $300,000.
The complaint alleges Florez worked on “production lines” “shared by at least 10 employees in close proximity to each other,” and that one of the employees “had contracted COVID-19” in March.
By April 5th, Florez learned of “four other employees who had become sick.”
On the 9th, her daughter became sick and court documents state she was admitted into the hospital and will now need “oxygen to assist in her breathing for the duration of her life.”
By the 13th, Florez “tested positive for COVID- 19.”
And by May 7th, Built Bar allegedly fired Florez after seeking legal advice.
During all of that her roommate would come down with COVID-19 too.
“I’m aware of the lawsuit filed,” said Utah County Attorney David Leavitt.
Leavitt says Built Bar is not one of the two companies the county commission was concerned about in a letter earlier this month and that his office is not investigating any businesses related to COVID-19.
“That lawsuit has absolutely nothing to do with it,” he added. “I mean it’s a private lawyer, a private party, suing a private business.”
Built Bar’s co-founder and CEO Nick Greer tells ABC4 News in a statement.
Contrary to the claims in the lawsuit, the team at Built Bar is and has been doing everything, including exceeding CDC requirements, to keep employees safe. The company has been proactive in communicating with all employees since March to ensure they were socially responsible, stayed home when sick and were respectful and in compliance with HIPAA regulations as it relates to discussing the health of their coworkers.
We care deeply about our employees, customers and partners and will continue to implement solutions from all sources. We strive for excellence and are committed to improving in all aspects of our business. We feel for Victoria and her family and sincerely hope her daughter is able to recover soon. I wish I had known regarding her daughter’s situation, which I have learned about from the lawsuit and the media, so we could have helped.
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