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Region 2 News Release: 08-310-NEW/BOS 2008-088
Wed., March 19, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
NEW YORK -- As the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) has paid $254,000 to a mechanic who was terminated by the delivery carrier after complaining about unsafe conditions in trucks at the company's Watertown, N.Y., garage.
The former employee filed complaints with OSHA alleging violations of the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) and the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act. OSHA's investigation found merit to the complaints, and the agency informed UPS on Dec. 20, 2007, of this preliminary finding.
After receiving OSHA's findings, UPS elected to settle the case. In addition to paying the complainant the $254,000 in remedies, UPS will post OSHA whistleblower fact sheets in all its New York facilities and agrees that it will not in any manner interfere with, coerce or restrain its employees from exercising their rights under STAA and the OSH Act. In agreeing to the settlement, UPS neither admits nor denies the allegations of the complaint.
"Employees are entitled to raise legitimate workplace safety and health concerns without fear of termination or retaliation," said Louis Ricca Jr., OSHA's acting regional administrator in New York. "We will not hesitate to ensure that right is legally protected. In this case, the settlement goes beyond one employee in one location and ensures that UPS employees throughout the Empire State are aware of this vital safeguard."
OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the OSH Act and 15 other statutes covering employees in the transportation, environmental and financial services industries. These include STAA, which provides protections for private sector drivers and other employees relating to the safety or security of commercial motor vehicles. Detailed information on employee whistleblower rights, including fact sheets, is available online at: www.osha.gov/dep/oia/whistleblower/index.html.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
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