Pennsylvania company sued for OSHA violations

A Pennsylvania company that manufactures fire and smoke dampers has been cited for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and named in a lawsuit involving the firing of employees. The lawsuit was filed by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor against Lloyd Industries, Inc., on March 8 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The lawsuit alleges wrongful termination of two employees in retaliation for the filing of complaints with OSHA.

According to the lawsuit, a worker at a company plant in Montgomeryville lost three of his fingers in a work accident and then was fired. The amputation of his fingers occurred when he was operating a press brake that was without a machine guard installed. The employee filed a formal complaint with OSHA in November 2014, which led to an inspection of the manufacturing facility. The lawsuit also contends that the company terminated another employee in May of 2015 also for filing an OSHA complaint.

The DOL secretary is seeking damages and reinstatement for the terminated employees. In addition, the lawsuit seeks costs of litigation, pre and post-judgment interest and a trial by jury. A attorney from the DOL is representing the plaintiff.

Although these complaints were filed with OSHA, an employee who is covered by workers’ compensation insurance and who is injured on the job has a similar right to file a claim for benefits without retaliatory action by the employer. Termination, discrimination or treating an employee differently for filing a claim could be a violation of the employee’s legal rights, and those who have been adversely affected may want to have legal counsel in seeking to rectify the adverse action.