An employee who was fired for reporting improper asbestos removal procedures at a Gloverville, N.Y. school worksite in 2010 has been awarded $173,794 in damages.
The damages resolve a federal OSHA lawsuit against Champagne Demolition, LLC and its owner.
The company must pay the employee a little over $103,000 in back wages, $20,000 in compensatory damages and $50,000 in punitive damages.
According to the complaint, the employee reported the improper removal to company officials. He was fired the next day.
That violates the whistleblower protection provisions written into the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Note: As this case shows, retaliating against whistleblowers can be costly, and not just monetarily. Complaints like this one make health and safety violations a matter of public record, which makes additional legal trouble all the more likely.