Both the officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and employers with CMM Realty Inc. have reached a settlement in a lawsuit that was filed by the department after an employee was fired because he voiced his concerns for his risks of a work accident in Rock Hill and elsewhere in the state. The South Carolina-based real estate management company has its headquarters in Columbia.
One of its employees filed a lawsuit with OSHA after he said he was wrongfully terminated from his position as a maintenance employee after he raised concerns with the company’s owner about possible asbestos at a work site. According to the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, the company is responsible for providing the worker with nearly $50,000 in addition to injunctive relief that will prohibit the defendants from violating the whistleblower provisions of OSHA. Within the agreement, the company is required to put up posters around its work sites regarding whistleblower information. These posters will be in both Spanish and English and will be provided by OSHA. Lastly, the company has been instructed to expunge all disciplinary actions in the worker’s employment record as well as provide any prospective employers with a neutral reference for him.
Our Rock Hill workers’ compensation attorneys understand that each and every worker has rights on the job and one of those rights includes whistleblower protection. All employees should be able to, and are encouraged to, speak up about any dangers or hazards that they witness on the job.
According to reports, the employee reported asbestos on one of the company’s properties back in 2009. On the very same day that the employee was asked to leave that specific work site as he was told that his services we no longer of use. Less than a week later, he was officially notified about his termination. State agencies ended up conducting inspections on that work site and concluded that there was asbestos present. The company was cited for violating national asbestos standards.
After observing the dangerous material on the work site and after being let go from his position with the company, the worker filed two complaints with officials at OSHA. After receiving the complaints, safety officials investigated the property in question and the termination and discovered that not only was the work site dangerous, but that the company has no cause to let go of the worker under these conditions. The company appealed OSHA’s findings. Later in 2011, OSHA ended up suing the company for discriminating against an employee for filing a complaint
Companies are not permitted to retaliate against workers who voice their concerns about safety issues in the workplace. All employers are required to make sure that all possible measures are taken to help to ensure worker safety!
If you or someone you love has been involved in a work accident in Rock Hill or elsewhere in the Carolinas or is fighting a whistleblower case, contact the Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Lee Law Offices, P.A. Call us today to set up a free and confidential appointment to discuss your case. Call 1-800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Fall Accidents in Asheville and Elsewhere: Preventable On The Job, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, June 28, 2012
Heat-Related Work Accidents in Rock Hill and Elsewhere Likely through Summer, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, June 26, 2012