Juanita Nichols worked as a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Coordinator at Peco Foods, Inc, a chicken processing plant in Sebastopol, Mississippi. As part of her job, she was regularly exposed to cold temperatures as chicken processing plants are required by federal law to operate much of their facilities under a certain temperature for food safety reasons.
In late 2015 and early 2016, Nichols was diagnosed with Raynaud’s phenomenon, a circulatory disorder. The condition meant that Nichols could develop gangrene if she continued to work in colder temperatures. On January 28, 2016, Nichols stopped working due to her limitations with working in the cold.