Former Tyson attorney sues in Iowa for wrongful termination

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A former workers' compensation attorney for a Tyson Foods meatpacking division has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in Iowa that accuses company officials of making anti-gay slurs, filing false information in workers' compensation cases and discriminating based on sex and age.

Todd Beresford filed the lawsuit Oct. 1 in state district court in Des Moines against Tyson Fresh Meats, based in South Dakota, and its parent Arkansas-based Tyson Foods, the nation's second-largest meat processor. The suit seeks damages after his dismissal last year.

Beresford argues he was fired in part because he complained the company was providing inaccurate information in workers' compensation cases in Iowa to deny payments to injured workers.

He claims a former company vice president used slurs in referring to former Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey, who is gay.

Beresford, of the Cleveland area, also claims Tyson discriminated against employees on the basis of sex and age by firing several middle age men in 2017 and 2018, replacing them with younger women.

A Tyson spokesman declined to comment.