Search Site
Menu
School District Must Pay More Than $100,000 to Settle Asbestos Whistleblower Claim

Dearborn Heights School District No. 7 (D7) was ordered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to pay more than $100,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who made complaints about asbestos in school facilities in 2012 and 2016.

The settlement money was for $102,905 in back wages, damages and other compensations. As part of the settlement, the district was also ordered to rehire the whistleblower, who worked as a janitor for the district. OSHA determined in its investigation that the employee was a victim of whistleblower retaliation and wrongful termination.

Case background

The first complaint came in 2012 after work was done on Annapolis High School and Madison Elementary School in the district. The complaint alleged people who were in the building were exposed to asbestos during the work. The same employee reported potential pesticide exposure at the school in fall 2016.

D7 publicly disputed the claims made by the employee, as well as additional reports circulating in the media regarding potential exposure to these health hazards. The district kept a link on its website with a statement alleging the employees who made these claims had presented misinformation, creating an unnecessary public health scare.

Ultimately, OSHA sided with the employees after an investigation into the claims, and reminded employers everywhere that “all workers are entitled to a safe and healthful workplace without the fear of retaliation for voicing concerns.”

If you are aware of health risks at your workplace, it is important you raise your concerns through the proper channels. If you find yourself the victim of retaliation or wrongful termination, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group for legal assistance.

Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    #600
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
Testimonials
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.

FOLLOW US
Facebook Twitter Linkedin RSS Feed JD Supra