A former employee of Fairmount Foundry Inc. was awarded $40,000 in lost wages, pain and suffering and punitive damages by a jury after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The employee claimed the Hamburg, PA, iron-casting company terminated him for reporting safety and health hazards to OSHA.
The verdict follows a lawsuit filed by the Department in September 2017 in which an OSHA whistleblower investigation determined Fairmount Foundry fired the complainant in retaliation for engaging in a protected activity of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
“The jury recognized that every employee has a legally protected right to report safety hazards to OSHA without fear of termination,” said Regional Philadelphia Solicitor Oscar L. Hampton III. “By compensating the complainant, and assessing an additional penalty against the company, the jury sent the message that such behavior will not be tolerated.”
OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of 22 statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, motor vehicle safety, healthcare reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, and securities laws.