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Region 2 News Release:   NY 139
May 17, 2001
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
PHONE: 212-337-2319

WORKERS IN NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY, ILLEGALLY DISCIPLINED FOR FILING SAFETY COMPLAINTS, AIDED BY OSHA

NEW YORK -- Twenty-two workers in New York and New Jersey who reported workplace hazards and were discharged or otherwise penalized as a result reached settlements with their employers in fiscal year 2000 (Sept. 30, 1999 to Oct. 1, 2000), according to a report issued today by the U. S. Labor Department of Labor.

Under the terms of settlement agreements reached between employers and the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration the 22 workers received a total of $124,699 in back wages. Other remedies included reinstatement, informal negotiated settlements between the complainants and their employers, and the requirement that employers display posters on the rights of employees.

The companies were cited for violating OSHA regulations that prohibit discharging or otherwise discriminating against any employee because he or she has filed a complaint or reported unsafe working conditions. The damage amounts represent wages lost from the date of discharge until the date of settlement.

According to Patricia K. Clark, OSHA regional administrator, OSHA's emphasis was on timely help for the employee. "The great majority of these cases were resolved quickly -- many in less than a month. The intent of OSHA's whistleblower regulations is that workers must not be penalized for doing the right thing and speaking out about workplace safety hazards."

Workers who have been discriminated against for exercising their right to report unsafe conditions or other protections provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Act must contact an OSHA office within 30 days of the time they learn of an alleged discriminatory action taken against them. Truckers, mechanics, and others involved in interstate trucking have 180 days under provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

If the complaint is timely and appears to have merit, OSHA investigates it, ordering reinstatement or other remedies if an investigation confirms the allegations. Under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, either party can file an objection to OSHA's findings. The matter is then decided by an administrative law judge; a final order is issued by the Secretary of Labor.

The settlements reached in fiscal year 2000 are summarized below.

FIRM NAME LOCATION COMPLAINANT OCCUPATION DATE OF REPRISAL DATE OF DECISION WAGE REMEDY
Ram Precise Tool Lancaster, N.Y. Machine Grinder 8/20/99 10/18/99 Informal Settlement OSHA Poster $1,200
Blue Ox Roofing Tonananda, N.Y. Roofer 10/19/99 11/22/99 Informal Settlement Notice to Employees $212
Major Interiors, Inc. Hauppauge, N.Y. Carpenter 8/23/99 11/23/99 Informal Settlement Notice to Employees $1,969
Surgical Sterilization, Inc. Syosset, N.Y. Truck Driver 8/10/99 11/24/99 Informal Settlement Notice to Employees $7,000
Gateway Communities Industries, Inc. New Paltz, N.Y. Facility Manager 4/7/98 10/21/99 Fed. Dist. Court Consent Judgment Notice to Employees $15,000
Burlington Coat Factory Scarsdale, N.Y. Security Officer 10/21/99 12/03/99 Settled by other parties Reinstatement
Hendler Electric Orchard Park, N.Y Electrician 9/27/99 12/22/99 Informal Settlement Notice to Employee $542
Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility Syracuse, N.Y. Health Nurse 9/19/99 1/20/00 Informal Settlement OSHA Poster $21,103
Captain of Shenendohowa Clifton Park, N.Y. Youth Care Worker 12/01/99 1/25/00 Informal Settlement Notice to Employees Restored Work Hours
Sausbiers Awning Shop, Inc. Hudson, N.Y. Installer 1/14/00 2/8/00 Informal Settlement Notice to Employees Complainant Reinstated $614
Shields & Warendorff Florists New York City Delivery Driver 1/21/00 2/16/00 Informal Settlement OSHA Employee Poster $322
Harvard Maintenance, Inc. New York City Maintenance Worker 7/21/99 3/10/00 Informal Unilateral Settlement OSHA Employee Poster $667
DeMar Transportation Buffalo, New York Truck Driver 11/05/97 3/10/00 Fed. Dist Court Consent Judgment Wage Remedy $5,700
Environmental Products & Services Syracuse, N.Y. Safety & Health Coordinator 2/3/00 4/13/00 Informal Settlement Notice to Employees Wage Remedy $352
Dollar Depot, Inc. Syracuse, N.Y. Store Manager 1/10/00 4/19/00 Informal Settlement OSHA Employee Poster $2,961
Corporate Express Delivery Systems, Inc. Johnson City, N.Y. Truck Driver 2/8/99 3/31/00 admin. law judge Recommended Decision & Order Settlement & Reinstatement $30,000
Hurlbut Nursing Home East Henrietta, N.Y. Nurse 12/25/99 5/3/00 Informal Settlement OSHA Poster $1,000
Jiffy Lube St. James, N.Y. Auto Service Mgr. 6/7/00 7/17/00 Informal Settlement OSHA Poster $1,598
Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. (Sec 211 ERA) Lycoming, N.Y. Trainer 5/20/ 9/27/00 Informal Settlement Notice to Employees $17,550
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Jamaica, N.Y. Technician 11/23/99 9/30/00 Informal Settlement Notice to Employees $16,000
Upper Paw West N.Y., N.J. Animal Groomer 10/28/99 11/24/99 Informal Settlement Notice to Employees $528
LISN Inc. E. Rutherford, N.J Telephone Installer 9/2/99 12/20/99 Informal Settlement OSHA Poster $380

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Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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