Public Citizen is suing the Labor Department for records on the agency’s response to COVID-19 outbreaks at meatpacking plants.

The public interest group is specifically seeking communications between DOL and the industry and between DOL and the Agriculture Department.

Public Citizen has not received any documents from DOL since it filed its Freedom of Information Act request May 1.

“Workers in meatpacking plants have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19,” said Adam Pulver, an attorney for the group. “The requested records would help the public understand what the DOL has done, and not done, to protect these workers. As outbreaks in plants continue, the government needs to be held accountable.”

According to data collected by the Food Environment Reporting Network, at least 494 meatpacking facilities have had confirmed COVID cases, and nearly 43,000 meatpacking workers have contracted the virus. About 200 meatpacking workers have died.

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