Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, investigated charges of employee discrimination and have confirmed that they have filed a suit against the US Postal Service’s Seattle Process and Distribution center in Tukwila. The Postal service stands accused of violating and infringing Section 11(c) of the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act.
OSHA’s investigations revealed that the Postal Service discriminated and retaliated against a Seattle employee who assisted a co-worker to file a safety complaint. The worker had worries about the “unhealthful conditions” and sought his colleagues help to file a case with OSHA.
Piqued by the advice that resulted in a case, the worker (name withheld under whistleblower protection status) was subjected to repeated chastisement and reprimands. With intent to teach a lesson, he was transferred to an office and his job was given to another employee, who was on a lower pay-grade. They even blocked his promotion, even though they admitted that he merited one, and made it very clear that they did not approve of his interacting with OSHA.
OSHA’s Regional Administrator, Dean Ikeda, said, “This is something we take very seriously. Hostility and retaliation against whistleblowers are simply unacceptable.” “An employee’s right to report unsafe and unhealthy workplace conditions must be protected to ensure that workers are not injured or sickened on the job.”
The Postal Service, refused to comment when it was brought to their notice that, employees disclosing wrongdoings or exposing unhealthy workplace environments and unsafe practices, do so with considerable anxiety about potential retaliation. The Postal Service’s actions provide irrefutable evidence of retaliatory intent, calculated to deprive the employee of justified promotion and to discredit and frighten him into submission.
That it was their second offence, is further proof that they did not explore avenues to remedy the problem, nor did they take safety concerns seriously, neither did they initiate any corrective measures.
The Postal Service has refused to settle the matter outside the court. The suit, as reported by the Seattle Weekly, is asking for “relief for the safety specialist, including payment of lost wages and benefits and compensation damages for emotional distress.”
Given this is OSHA’s second lawsuit against the Seattle Process and Distribution center in Tukwila, they are asking the court to order a permanent injunction against them to thwart and prevent future employer-abuse and infringement of the law.Seattle Postal Service Faces Employee Discrimination Lawsuit by Harrison Barnes