Tagged Articles

retaliation 337 articles

Montana Legislators Consider Tougher Whistleblower Protections for State Employees

Two bills proposing better whistleblower protections for public workers who speak out against fraud, waste, and abuse with state agencies passed the Montana House last week. According to the Associated Press, one of the bills would prohibit state agencies and programs from retaliating against a public employee who blows the whistle on misconduct. The other would allow the public employee to file a civil lawsuit against a supervisor who attempts to obstruct the whistleblower’s efforts to communicate “a matter of public concern” with a state legislator. The original version of the bills would have made whistleblower retaliation and obstruction criminal ... Read More

Amtrak Retaliated Against Whistleblower For Voicing Safety Concerns, OSHA Finds

Federal investigators have ordered Amtrak to reinstate a former employee and pay him nearly $900,000 in compensatory and punitive damages after determining he was wrongfully terminated for raising railroad safety concerns and supporting the safety concerns of a fellow agent. In 2010, the employee, who worked as a special investigator in Amtrak’s inspector general’s office, was investigating an Amtrak contractor that had been convicted in a New York state court of fraud for its work inspecting and testing concrete in New York City building projects. Knowing that the same contractor had performed testing for Amtrak on certain train tunnels, the ... Read More

OSHA Introduces Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Guidelines For Employers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued its recommended practices for anti-retaliation programs, designed to guide employers in creating workplaces in which workers feel comfortable voicing concerns without fear of retaliation. The guidelines were unanimously endorsed by the 12 members of the Labor Secretary’s Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee. They are intended to help all private and public sector employers covered by the 22 whistleblower statutes that OSHA enforces to improve the fairness, efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency in administering whistleblower protections. According to OSHA, the recommendations can be adapted to most workplaces, and employers can adjust them to accommodate such ... Read More

Roofing Contractor Faces Federal Lawsuit For Firing Whistleblower

The U.S. Department of Labor is suing a Tampa, Fla., roofing contractor and its owner for violating federal whistleblower protections when they fired their safety manager after he cooperated with an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection. Jasper Roofing Contractors Inc. and owner/chief executive Brian Wedding violated the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act’s whistleblower provisions by retaliating against the manager, OSHA said in a news release. The agency accuses Jasper Roofing of subjecting the manager to repeated retaliatory acts that ultimately resulted in his wrongful termination after he provided documentation to OSHA regarding the company’s history of safety ... Read More

BNSF Railroad Ordered To Compensate Worker Fired For Reporting Track Defects

Federal safety regulators have ordered BNSF Railroad to pay a former track inspector more the $147,000 in back pay and damages after an investigation determined the company fired the employee in retaliation for reporting railroad track defects to management. BNSF, an international railroad operator headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, violated the Federal Railroad Safety Act’s whistleblower protections by firing the inspector for insubordination after he reported the defects, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said. “BNSF employees have the right to protect their safety and that of other employees and the public without fear of retaliation by their employer,” ... Read More

DOL Sues Jerky Maker For Firing Whistleblower Who Tried To Help Injured Coworker

When a worker at a West Virginia beef jerky manufacturing plant accidentally suffered a thumb amputation on the job, a coworker rushed to assistance, applying pressure to the wound and using her cell phone to call 911. But instead of rewarding her quick action in helping her injured coworker, Lone Star Western Beef of Fairmont, W. Va., punished the worker. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said that John M. Bachman, the company’s owner, ordered the worker to hang up her phone before responders could answer. He then collected the severed portion of the wounded worker’s thumb and told a ... Read More

Texas Energy Co. Agrees To $1.4 Million Penalty For Muzzling Whistleblowers

An Oklahoma City-based oil and gas company has agreed to pay $1.4 million to settle charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it used illegal separation agreements and retaliated against a whistleblower who expressed concerns internally about how the company’s reserves were being calculated. According to the SEC, after a new whistleblower protection rule became effective in August 2011, SandRidge Energy Inc. conducted multiple reviews of its separation agreements, which lay out the terms of separation between a company and an employee, board member, or contractor. Despite these reviews, the company continued to routinely prohibit outgoing employees from ... Read More

New Rule Shields Auto Industry Whistleblowers From Retaliation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a final rule establishing procedures and time frames for handling employee retaliation complaints under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which took effect Dec. 14. Enacted in July 2012, MAP-21 protects employees of automobile manufacturers, auto part suppliers, and car dealerships who have been terminated or otherwise retaliated against for voicing concerns to their employer or to federal regulators over auto defects or violations of motor vehicle safety standards. In March, OSHA published an interim final rule and opened it to public comment. It met little resistance. The agency ... Read More

John Deere Pays Former Employee $275K to Settle Whistleblower Retaliation Suit

John Deere & Co. has agreed to pay a former employee $275,000 in back pay and damages after allegedly firing him in retaliation for complaining of unsafe working conditions at the company’s Moline, Illinois facility. The agreement resolves a lawsuit filed last year by the U.S. Department of Labor on behalf of a pipefitter who accused the company of firing him in 2012 in retaliation for speaking out against workplace dangers and filing a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Federal law prohibits employers from retaliating against workers who blow the whistle on safety violations in the ... Read More

Hotline Opened For Former Wells Fargo Bankers With Retaliation Concerns

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) introduced a hotline Friday for certain former Wells Fargo employees who were fired amid news that bank representatives had been opening fake, unauthorized accounts for customers. In September, federal regulators ordered the San Francisco-based bank to pay the U.S. $185 million in penalties and $5 million to customers it defrauded by pressuring employees to meet aggressive sales quotas by opening the unauthorized customer accounts. Responding to this pressure, Wells Fargo employees opened up some two million fake accounts and charged customers maintenance fees on those accounts. The bank subsequently fired about 5,300 employees for opening the accounts ... Read More