A federal judge recently ordered Lloyd Industries to pay the largest punitive award ever given under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSH Act”) after two employees were illegally fired for speaking out against unsafe working conditions. The two workers were terminated after an inspection conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). According to the Regional Solicitor, all employees have a right to speak out about work conditions that are unhealthy or unsafe. If they are unfairly retaliated against for exercising those rights, they deserve to be compensated. The court awarded a total of $1,047,399 in lost wages and punitive damages to the two employees.
After a Lloyd Industries employee lost three fingers in a workplace accident, OSHA conducted an on-site investigation. The injured worker was fired shortly after the investigation began. A second employee was terminated for cooperating with OSHA after they identified a number of health and safety violations and began assessing penalties. A jury found that Lloyd Industries and its owner illegally fired the two employees for cooperating with OSHA during the inspection. They awarded $500,000 in punitive damages, which is the largest punitive award under the OSH Act. The court explained that the size of the award sends a strong message that this kind of retaliation with not be tolerated.
The two employees were also awarded $547,399 in front and back pay. Lloyd Industries and its owner were also ordered to post an anti-retaliation notice and refrain from ever violating the Section 11(c) or the OSH Act again. All employees are entitled to a safe and healthy work environment and if these basic rights are violated by an employer, or they are retaliated against for speaking out about poor work conditions, there will be severe consequences.
Also known as the “safety bill of rights,” the OSH Act was created to ensure that all employees in the United States have safe working conditions and that employers provide the necessary training, outreach, education and assistance necessary to maintain a safe work environment. This helps prevent serious work-related injuries and illnesses.
Philadelphia Whistleblower Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C. Protect the Rights of Employees Who Have Been Wrongfully Terminated
If you were terminated from you job after speaking out about unsafe working conditions, it is in your best interest to contact the Philadelphia whistleblower lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C. as soon as possible. It takes a great deal of courage to speak out against an employer, but the law protects whistleblowers against unfair retaliation. Our skilled legal team will discuss the details of your case with you and recommend the best legal course of action. To set up a confidential consultation, call us today at 215-574-0600 or contact us online. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, where we represent clients in South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.