A commuter rail company that does business in New Jersey was ordered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to pay $141,000 in restitution to an injured worker. OSHA alleged that the rail company intentionally and wrongly classified the worker’s injury as not occurring on the job. The company then allegedly denied the worker a promotion because of his injury.
Workers do deserve protection in such situations. However, often the protection will only come in the form of a whistleblower’ suit. Lawsuits of this nature to be successful will likely require the assistance of an attorney – an attorney that is familiar with OSHA regulations put in place to protect employee’ rights.
There are any numbers of reasons why a worker will be denied a promotion. Some are legitimate and some are not. However, this particular denial of promotion was egregious because of the workers’ injury and the likelihood that the rail company was responsible for the injury.
Too often employees are retaliated against in an employment situation for bringing the wrongful conduct of the employer to the attention of others. Without regulations being put in place to protect the worker, the worker is in a precarious situation.
If the worker complains about the conduct of the employer, he or she is then denied promotion. If the worker does not complain about the conduct of the employer, he may never be compensated for his injuries. In fact, his injuries may even prevent him from performing the duties of his job and he may face wage loss as well.
Source: Business Management Daily, “Metro North blasted, fined for misclassifying worker injury,” Nov. 20, 2011