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Topic: "OSHA" | Main

Iqbal applies to OSHA whistleblower cases
May 19, 2010 by Ross Runkel at LawMemo

Department of Labor's Administrative Review Board has ruled (2-1) that Ashcroft v. Iqbal's pleading standards apply to whistleblower claims brought under a variety of statutes such as the Clean Air Act. 

Evans v. US Environmental Protection Agency.

[Decision]



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OSHA: Absence on doctor's order was protected activity
May 12, 2010 by Ross Runkel at LawMemo

A Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp employee, under a doctor's order, was absent from work while recovering from a work related injury. The employer suspended him for absenteeism.

The employee filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA, and OSHA concluded that following a doctor's order is a protected safety-related act.

OSHA has ordered backpay and expungement of records.

[Press release]



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OSHA: $3,042,000 proposed penalty
March 10, 2010 by Ross Runkel at LawMemo

OSHA has cited BP North American Inc and BP-Husky Refining LLC's refinery in Oregon, Ohio, with 42 alleged willful violations, including 39 on a per-instance basis, and 20 alleged serious violations for exposing workers to a variety of hazards including failure to provide adequate pressure relief for process units.

Proposed penalties total $3,042,000.

OSHA began its inspection at the refinery in September 2009 as part of its Refinery National Emphasis Program and as a follow-up to a 2006 inspection and a 2007 settlement agreement between OSHA and BP at this location.

[Press release]



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OSHA seizes car from company president
January 04, 2010 by Ross Runkel at LawMemo

OSHA seized a car from the president of Brocon Petroleum to satisfy a consent judgment arising out of an OSHA whistleblower case. 

An investigation by OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program found the defendants had terminated an employee in retaliation because they suspected he had called OSHA and caused an inspection.

OSHA was looking for $7,500 in back wages. They got a car instead. Rumor has it this was a 1992 black Corvette.

[Press release]



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Feds target OSHA crimes
May 02, 2005 by Ross Runkel at LawMemo

Combine OSHA and EPA and some DOJ prosecutors, and what do you get? A coordinated effort to criminally prosecute the most flagrant workplace safety violators.

With Little Fanfare, a New Effort to Prosecute Employers That Flout Safety Laws, a New York Times article, says the government will begin using laws that carry stiffer penalties than the workplace safety laws do. These include environmental laws, conspiracy statutes, RICO, and Sarbanes-Oxley.

My view: It's nice to see some creative collaboration among government agencies. I'm always skeptical about the effectiveness of criminal law in regulating corporate conduct, but perhaps it will help curb some of those who deliberately violate basic safety rules.



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