A lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor just before year-end alleges that Jasper Roofing Contractors Inc. fired a safety manager for complying with an OSHA inspection.
The suit is the result of an investigation by OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program.
“Employees have the right to participate in an Occupational Safety and Health inspection without the fear of retaliation," said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA's regional administrator in Atlanta in a statement. ”OSHA will continue to hold companies accountable that violate the whistleblower provisions of the OSH Act."
The suit alleges that Jasper and its owner/CEO Brian Wedding discriminated against their safety manager by conducting retaliatory acts, ultimately resulting in termination, after he provided documentation to OSHA regarding the company's safety compliance and for attempting to improve the safety culture at the roofing company.
It seeks back wages, interest, compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief. Additionally, the suit seeks to have the employee's personnel records expunged and to prevent Jasper Roofing Contractors against future violations of the OSH Act. The department's Office of the Solicitor in Atlanta is litigating the case.
Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with the secretary of labor to request an investigation by OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program.
Detailed information on employee whistleblower rights, including fact sheets, is available at http://www.whistleblowers.gov.