OSHA Protects Employees who Report Workplace Violence From Retaliation

A recent lawsuit brought by OSHA against a Florida employer and its owner indicates that employers should be careful when terminating an employee who makes a complaint about workplace violence. The employee alleged that the owner behaved abusively, made inappropriate sexual comments and advances, yelled, screamed and made physically threatening gestures. The employee told the owner he was creating a hostile environment and then filed a claim with OSHA alleging that the owner discriminated against him for reporting the hostile conditions. 5 days after the owner learned of the OSHA filing, the employee was terminated, and OSHA sued the employer and owner for violating OSHA’s whistleblower provisions. http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=23616

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