OSHA shows it’s serious about stepping up action against companies accused of firing workers for making complaints about safety.
Modern Oil Co. of Shawnee, OK, which operates about 30 Kwik Stop Convenience Stores, faces a federal lawsuit for firing an employee who complained about workplace safety.
An employee complained to her manager that beverage boxes stacked too high posed a safety hazard. Then the employee took the complaint to OSHA.
OSHA claims a month after receiving the complaint, the store manager figured out which employee filed the complaint and fired the worker.
In addition to back pay and reinstatement, the lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the employee.
“Employees should be free to exercise their rights under the law without fear of termination or retaliation by their employers,” said William Burke, OSHA regional administrator in Dallas. “This lawsuit underscores the Labor Department’s commitment to vigorously take action to protect those rights.”