The U.S. Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against a hair salon in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, claiming the business owners terminated an employee because her husband reported workplace safety and health issues to the federal government.
According to prosecutors, employees of Blown Away Dry Bar and Salon were exposed to chemicals and sewage after a plumbing backup and cleanup inside the salon in March 2017. When stylists complained of nausea and headaches, the owners allegedly ignored the complaints.
One of the stylists told her husband about the issue, and he became worried that the employees had been exposed to hazardous materials. He reported the issues to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). But as soon as the owners of the salon learned the stylist’s husband had contacted OSHA they fired that stylist, who subsequently filed a complaint with OSHA alleging retaliation and wrongful termination, as the complaint is a protected activity under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
In the lawsuit, the stylist seeks damages plus interest for lost wages (past and future), as well as reimbursement for legal costs. If the lawsuit is successful, the owners of the salon would be required to post a notice for 60 days stating it will not discriminate or retaliate against employees involved in protected activities.
OSHA enforces whistleblower provisions in 22 different statutes involving occupational safety and health.
To learn more about your legal options if you believe your company has jeopardized the safety of its employees by violating health and safety laws, meet with a trusted Dallas attorney at Kardell Law Group.