The U.S. Department of Labor said that this it is suing Lloyd Industries of Montgomeryville, Penn., a manufacturer of fire dampers and HVAC products, for firing a worker who was injured on the job and then firing another worker who cooperated with federal authorities investigating the incident.
According to the Labor Department, on July 11, 2014, an unguarded machine crushed the hand of a Lloyd Industries worker, amputating three fingers. The company fired the injured worker immediately after the incident occurred.
Four months later, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) received a complaint from the injured worker, prompting the agency to investigate.
On Nov. 18, 2014, five days after OSHA began its investigation, company owner William P. Lloyd fired another worker he suspected to be a “rat” for assisting the injured employee by providing him with pictures of the unguarded machine.
OSHA said the employee had in fact taken pictures of the unguarded machine that caused the amputation, other areas of the shop, and of employees operating unguarded machines. He shared those pictures with the injured man.
On May 11, 2015, OSHA cited the company for multiple safety violations and proposed penalties of $822,000. That same day, Mr. Lloyd fired the plant’s manager because he believed the manager had cooperated with the OSHA investigation and provided damaging information during the inspection.
The Labor Department responded by filing a lawsuit in a Pennsylvania federal court against Lloyd Industries on March 8, 2016. The agency seeks compensation for lost wages and compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of the illegally fired workers in addition to reinstatement to their jobs.
“Lloyd Industries has a long, unfortunate history of putting employees at risk and defying federal officials,” said Richard Mendelson, OSHA regional administrator in Philadelphia. “Since 2000, approximately 40 serious injuries including lacerations, crushed, fractured, dislocated and amputated fingers have been recorded. William P. Lloyd refuses to make his company safe. Whenever someone tries, they are fired.”
Source: U.S. Department of Labor