One U.S. Postal Service worker is not happy and is fighting back! According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an employee with the mail-carrier company was dealing with retaliation and discrimination after wishing to submit a safety complaint with OSHA. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The lawsuit was a result of an investigation conducted by OSHA. The investigation discovered that the U.S. Postal Service violated the federal whistleblower protection provisions. Workers have a legal right to voice concerns regarding on-the-job hazards, dangers and unnecessary risks for work-related accidents in Greenville and elsewhere. Retaliation against the voicing of these concerns is illegal!
"An employee's right to report unsafe and unhealthy workplace conditions must be protected to ensure that workers are not injured or sickened on the job," said Dean Ikeda with OSHA's Seattle office.
Our South Carolina workers compensation lawyers understand that any kind of retaliation, including hostility, discrimination or unfair termination, is not allowed under federal law. Employees have a right to work in safe and healthy work environments. They also have a right to voice concerns when these standards are not upheld.
After the investigation, OSHA concluded that the U.S. Postal Service committed a number of adverse actions against the employee. These actions were all in line with retaliation reactions. As a matter of fact, the employee was assigned to move to the Seattle Process and Distribution Center after the company learned that he had helped another worker in exercising her rights and offered OSHA's complaint filing information and contact information. Later, that employee also filed a complaint with OSHA regarding dangers at that facility.
After sharing contact and complaint filing information, the employee experienced a number of reprimands and was isolated from other workers at that work site. The employee was also sent to another office without being provided with the proper equipment to get the job done.
OSHA's investigation also concluded that the employee's initial duties were reassigned to other employees who were receiving a lower pay. The complaint-filing employee was also overlooked for an in-house promotion because of his filed complaint.
To help set the problem straight, the Labor Department asked courts to order a permanent junction against the U.S. Postal Service to help stop this kind of scenario from ever happening again. The department also requested that the employee be provided with the proper compensation for lost benefits, wages and for damages of emotional distress.
Retaliation can include cutting back hours or pay, making threats, failing to rehire or hire, unnecessary disciplining, blacklisting, laying off or firing, reassigning, intimidation, demoting, denying overtime, denying benefits, etc.
Congress has enacted whistleblower provisions to protect employees in these kinds of situations. Under federal law, employers are not allowed to retaliate against workers who speak out against dangerous working conditions.
If you, a coworker or someone in your family is being treated unfairly on the job, contact the Carolina injury attorneys at Lee Law Offices today to schedule a free and confidential appointment to discuss your case. Call 1-800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Fear of North Carolina Work Accident Led to Firing, North Carolina Workers' Compensation Lawyers Blog, February 13, 2012