Whistleblower Awarded $40,000 After Retaliation for Reporting OSHA Violations
A whistleblower recently received $40,000 from a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The award compensated him for lost wages and pain and suffering after his wrongful termination from Fairmount Foundry, Inc.
According to the whistleblower, he was illegally fired from the foundry after he reported some health and safety hazards to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Case stems from dangerous conditions at foundry
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unnamed employee was terminated in October 2015. He had reported water leaking into an electric box, prompting OSHA to investigate. The ensuing investigation also determined Fairmount Foundry did fire the whistleblower in retaliation for making a protected report as listed under Section 11(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
All employees are afforded whistleblower protections. They are allowed to report safety hazards to OSHA without fearing for their jobs or retaliation of any sort. The jury found that Fairmount Foundry was in violation of those federal whistleblower protection laws by terminating the employee for the reason of his making the report in question.
OSHA is not the only agency that offers whistleblower protections on a federal level. In fact, there has never been a better time for whistleblower rights in the United States. The federal government continues to take steps to protect whistleblowers and encourage them to come forward with information on wrongdoing, whether it’s safety hazards on a job site or fraudulent schemes within a healthcare organization.
To learn more about the steps you can take if you believe you have information on internal wrongdoing at your company or organization, consult a dedicated attorney with Kardell Law Group.