Screening News Update: January 8th, 2021

Screening News Update: January 8th, 2021

By Jennifer Gladstone

An office pool that bet on lives cost managers their jobs, the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is not going as smoothly as hoped in some states, and a new study shows remote workers are going above and beyond when it comes to logging hours. Get all the details in today’s EBI Screening News Update.

Fired for Betting on Employees’ Health

Seven managers at a Tysons Foods plant were fired for placing bets on how many of their employees would get COVID-19.

Back in March and April, the virus started spreading through the Waterloo, Iowa pork processing plant. The local sheriff visited with county health inspectors and said the conditions were so bad they “shook him to the core.” He reported meatpackers crammed together on the floor with few wearing masks.

As more workers fell ill, the plant manager allegedly organized a cash buy-in, winner-take-all pool for managers and supervisors to wager how many people would test positive. According to a lawsuit, 1,000 of the 2,800 employees were infected.

After an investigation, the seven managers were fired, and the plant was shut down. It reopened less than a month later.

Rough Vaccine Rollouts

The rollout of the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine is definitely going more smoothly in some places than others. While the federal government made recommendations on how to distribute the vaccines, each state is setting its own plan. In many states, the vaccines are still being reserved only for medical personnel and nursing home residents, while others are already offering them to the general public. You can find out exactly what your state is doing here.

Florida is one of the states that is already offering the vaccine to older residents, anyone over the age of 65 qualifies. But the state is making news because its system can’t keep up with the massive demand.

In Tampa, the vaccine registration site crashed on its very first day. Seniors flooded the website and jammed the phone lines. Across the state, about 1,000 people camped out in their cars along the road near Daytona Stadium hoping to get the first of the shots. Cars stretched through town causing a traffic nightmare. City officials decided to open the parking lot on the second night to keep the streets clear. By 7:30pm more than 200 cars filled with seniors were already in place to ride out the cold night.

In California, hundreds of thousands of COVID -19 vaccines could be sitting in warehouses and are at risk of being wasted. So far, that state has only distributed about 28% of the 1.4 million shots they have at their disposal, which falls short of many other states according to a Bloomberg.com tracking site. Georgia, Arizona, and New York are also on the low end. Texas, Tennessee, and Iowa have distributed the largest percentages of their shots to date.

Remote Workers Putting in MORE Hours

It might be natural for managers to wonder if their team is putting in the work now that they are working from home, but a new study shows remote workers are actually putting in more hours now than before the pandemic.

Los Angeles-based staffing firm Robert Half surveyed 2,800 workers and found that many employees are actually working around the clock now that home and the office are one and the same.  If you find yourself clocking more than 8 hours a day, you are not alone; 45% of remote employees report doing the same. Nearly 70% of all professionals who now work remotely say they are working around the clock – including weekends.

When it comes to working weekends, parents are more likely to do so more than those without children, and men are more likely to clock more than 40 hours per week.

Screening News Network

About the Author

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.

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