The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected an invitation to expand the number of cases that fall under Title VII’s retaliation provision. It recently ruled that someone who reports an OSHA violation couldn’t charge that he or she was retaliated against by filing a Title VII retaliation lawsuit.
Recent case: A former employee of M. Hanna Construction claimed the company retaliated against him after he reported what he believed were OSHA violations.
The 5th Circuit found that Title VII does not encompass OSHA violations. Simply put, reporting OSHA violations does not qualify as a protected activity under Title VII. The court said OSHA violations are unrelated to the sort of employment protection covered by Title VII like sex and race discrimination. (Washington v. M. Hanna Construction Inc., No. 08-20351, 5th Cir., 2008)
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