Labor Dept. Sues Dealer Over Coronavirus Issue

By Staff Writer October 14, 2021

 

The U.S. Department of Labor filed suit against an Austin luxury car dealer for terminating an employee who warned managers and other co-workers about potential coronavirus hazards in the workplace.

The feds found that Hi Tech Motorcars LLC, Hi Tech Imports LLC, and Hi Tech Luxury Imports LLC, violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act when it retaliated against the worker in December 2020.

After learning a co-worker had tested positive for coronavirus, the employee requested that management notify other employees immediately of their risk of exposure. When management did not take action, the employee sent an email to all company employees about the potential hazards. Less than an hour later, the employer terminated the employee.

OSHA found the employee exercised their legal rights under section 11(c) of the OSH Act, and that the termination was illegal. In its filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, the department seeks reinstatement, lost wages and benefits resulting from the termination, reimbursement for costs and expenses, compensatory damages, and exemplary or punitive damages.

“No worker should ever fear losing their job for raising workplace safety and health concerns,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Eric S. Harbin in Dallas.

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Last modified on Friday, 22 October 2021 16:35