The manager of a Pennsylvania plant who was fired for reporting safety violations at the facility will receive about $135,000 in back wages from his former employer. According to a Central Penn Business Journal news report, the manager worked at the company’s Lower Swatara Township plant in October 2014. Officials with the U.S. Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) say that the manager repeatedly reported air quality and other safety concerns to upper management including one instance in which a plant worker complained of becoming ill because of excessive dust. It can be said, that if the manager had not whistle blown on the company, that a serious injury could result in a substantial workers’ compensation lawsuit.
How Does This Effect Workers’ Compensation?
Because of the safety warnings that were not followed, many of the employees were put in the way of potential harm that could keep them from working. The manager was fired less than two weeks after he was hired. He filed two complaints with OSHA, one alleging safety and health hazards at the plant, and the other saying the company fired him in retaliation for reporting these issues. Eventually, OSHA found 38 violations at the plant including air samplings that showed some plant employees had been exposed to illegal quantities of silica dust.
These violations resulted in $38,880 in fines. The whistleblower investigation found that the company was in violation of the law when it fired the manager who reported the safety concerns. The company has been ordered to pay back not just wages and damages to the manager, but also provide supervisors with anti-retaliation training in the plant.
What Does the Law Say?
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, it is illegal to take unfavorable action against employees who report safety violations at the workplace. Such retaliatory actions include blacklisting, demoting, denying overtime or promotion, disciplining, denying benefits, failing to hire or rehire, firing or laying off, intimidation, reducing hours or pay and suspension from work.
If you believe that your employer has retaliated against you because you exercised your legal rights as an employee, contact OSHA as soon as possible. There may be time limits to file your complaint. An employee can file a complaint with OSHA by visiting or calling the local OSHA office or sending a written complaint to the closest OSHA regional or area office. Written complaints may be filed by fax, e-mail, hand delivery or through a commercial carrier.
Contact an Experienced Coventry Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have been injured in Coventry while at work, contact the Coventry workers compensation lawyers located at 401 Arnold Road, Coventry, RI 02861. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and lost wages, among other losses. We work with experienced workers compensation lawyers around the country that do not charge a fee unless you obtain benefits or a settlement. For a free (no obligation) case evaluation, call us at 401-823-3444 or toll free at 1-800-992-6878. You may also fill out a contact form on our site.