First of all, yes, I'm telling you that (at least in most cases) suing your former employees may not be the best labor relations strategy, unless of course they are violating a valid non-compete or misappropriating your Company's trade secrets. Recently, a coal company learned that suing a former employee for filing a "fraudulent" discrimination complaint can be a violation of the Mine Act.
In Armstrong Coal Company, Judge Feldman found that the Mine Act ...
OSHA enforces more whistleblower laws than any other agency and has made whistleblower protection one of its principal goals. So it grabs your attention when you read “Whistleblower Wins $820,000 Settlement Against OSHA.”
An effective safety process requires consistent discipline to support other company safety efforts, but it doesn’t happen.
OSHA is aggressively suing employers for allegedly using safety rules to terminate employees for reporting workplace injuries. And in fact, it often turns out that almost the only employees terminated for safety violations were those terminated for unsafe behavior after an injury. Why? The employer was sloppy about disciplining employees for unsafe behavior, and the only time the employers “caught” employees acting unsafely was… investigating the injury.
Last Week, Sandy Smith, Editor in Chief of EHS Magazine, interviewed me for two articles she prepared on the continued difficulties presented as employers struggle to rely on leading indicators to manage safety rather than relying on workplace injury data – “lagging indicators.” I enjoyed the interview because Sandy knows her stuff, and EHS Magazine is committed to making a difference in the safety culture.
Hopefully you are aware of the continuing escalation of all forms of whistleblower and retaliation claims, including under the 21 Anti-Retaliation laws enforced by special investigators from OSHA’s Whistleblower group. If not, check out the News Room on OSHA’s Whistleblower page.
Ok… I admit to sounding like a British tabloid writer. However, how often can one discuss a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) case set in an upscale bar, involving allegations of retaliation and threatening social media posts? I suspect that lawyers dream of such cases.