DOL Sues Employer After Alleged Retaliatory Firing

04.13.2022
US-DOL
HR & Safety

The U.S. Department of Labor is bringing a New York business to court for allegedly firing an employee who complained about a disregard for coronavirus protocols. 

According to the lawsuit, a Kwait Eye and Laser Surgery employee filed complaints with the New York State Department of Health in December of 2020 and January of 2021. 

DOL-Kwiat-Complaint

The lawsuit alleges the employee raised concerns first to her supervisor because the practice was not following state-mandated coronavirus protocols, including mask-wearing between March and December of 2020. 

An OSHA whistleblower investigation later said Dr. David Kwait fired the employee the same day the health department contacted his office. 

OSHA investigators said he specifically cited the employee’s contact with the state as the reason for the firing. 

The Department of Labor is asking the court to order Kwait Eye and its owner to pay damages to the employee. 

They are also asking the employer to make it clear to other employees that the business will not retaliate against employees who exercise a variety of rights protected under the OSH Act, section 11(c)

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