Southwestern Bell is faced with a lawsuit filed by OSHA. The lawsuit stems from allegations that the company retaliated against four employees who suffered workplace injury. The company’s spokesman for the region which includes Missouri claims that the employees were disciplined for not following safety regulations.
According to reports, four employees reported injuries between 2011 and 2012. After reporting the injuries, they were reportedly issued negative performance reviews and disciplined. One of the employees was given a 6-month performance notice following an injury to his back. Another employee was issued a written warning following an ankle injury. A Southwestern Bell spokesman stated that the employees were not disciplined for reporting injuries and they never lost any pay.
OSHA stepped into the matter and filed suit against the company. According to the lawsuit, OSHA is requesting for the injury reports to be deleted from the workers’ files and steps to prevent future discrimination. The suit also requests that the workers be compensated for legal expenses. The company believes that the suit has no merit and it claims that it encourages employees to report injuries.
A workplace injury can cause someone to experience an enormous amount of pain and suffering. A Missouri worker who sustains any type of workplace injury may experience continuous medical issues and elect to file for workers’ compensation benefits to help cover those expenses. Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation benefits to help workers who are injured while performing their normal work duties with medical and related expenses. In the event that retaliation for reporting an injury occurs, a worker may have further legal recourse, depending on the circumstances.
Source: cjonline.com, “OSHA files suit against Southwestern BellSuit alleges retaliation against employees who reported injuries“, Megan Hart, May 15, 2014