OSHA Sues Postal Service
OSHA is charging the U.S. Postal Service with discrimination and retaliation against a safety specialist who provided information to another employee on how to file a safety complaint.
The lawsuit resulted from an investigation by OSHA that found the Postal Service had violated the whistleblower protection provisions of the OSH Act.
OSHA’s investigation determined that the Postal Service embarked on a pattern of adverse actions after learning that the safety specialist had assisted the employee in exercising her rights under the OSH Act and provided her with OSHA’s contact information. That employee later filed a formal complaint with OSHA claiming unhealthful conditions at her facility.
The specialist subsequently suffered a series of reprimands, was restricted from contact with staff, and was transferred to an office without the necessary equipment to perform his job. The investigation also substantiated claims that the Postal Service reassigned many of the specialist’s duties to an individual with a lower pay grade and did not select him for a promotion because of his interactions with OSHA despite acknowledging him as qualified for the position.
OSHA is asking the court to order a permanent injunction against the Postal Service to prevent future violations of the law. The suit also asks for appropriate relief for the safety specialist, including the payment of lost wages and benefits and compensatory damages for emotional distress.
OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the OSH Act and 20 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various securities, commercial motor vehicle, airline, nuclear, pipeline, environmental, rail, maritime, health care reform, financial reform, consumer product, and food safety laws.
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