PaintSquare.com


The First Word in Protective & Marine Coatings

A Product of Technology Publishing / PaintSquare
JPCL | PaintSquare News | Durability + Design | Paint BidTracker

Free Download of

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Contractor to Pay Whistleblowers $1M

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

Two drivers and a foreman who were fired by a Michigan paving contractor after raising safety concerns will receive nearly $1 million in back wages and damages under a federal settlement.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ruled that Asphalt Specialists Inc., of Pontiac, wrongfully terminated the three employees and must reinstate them.

The contractor was found in violation of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act for firing the three, who had been ordered to violate U.S. Department of Transportation mandated hours of service for commercial truck drivers.

Asphalt Specialists
Asphalt Specialists Inc.

One employee refused to sign a false affidavit rebutting allegations made by a former foreman who was fired, according to OSHA.

In addition to reinstating the employees to their former positions with all pay and benefits, the company was ordered to pay a total of $953,916 in damages: $243,916 in back wages to the drivers; $110,000 in compensatory damages; and $600,000 in punitive damages.

The Detroit-area contractor provides a wide range of asphalt paving, milling, grading, repair, construction and reconstruction services.

27-Hour Shifts

“It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against employees who report work-related safety concerns or violations of federal transportation regulations, which require drivers to have a minimum 10-hour rest period between shifts,” said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels.

“OSHA is committed to protecting workers from retaliation for exercising basic worker rights.”

According to OSHA, the foreman was fired June 30, 2012, after repeatedly raising concerns to the company’s co-owner about job assignments that repeatedly failed to allow for the federally mandated 10-hour rest period.

"At least twice, the foreman and the crew were expected to work more than 27 hours straight," OSHA said.

The foreman "rightfully refused to operate a vehicle in an unsafe manner, which could potentially cause serious injury to the worker, co-workers or the public," the agency said.

Back Pay and Damages

The foreman will  receive his back wages as well as $50,000 in compensatory damages and $200,000 in punitive damages.

Asphalt Specialists

The foreman and crew were expected to work more than 27 hours straight, OSHA said.

A second driver was fired April 26, 2013, also after raising concerns about the number of hours he was required to work. The drivers also refused to sign an affidavit denying that he had been required to work an illegal number of hours—an affidavit the company was trying to use to rebut the fired foreman's claims, OSHA said.

A third driver was fired July 8, 2013, after raising concerns about vehicle maintenance and the number of hours they were expected to drive.

Under the settlement, each driver will receive his back wages as well as $30,000 in compensatory damages and $200,000 in punitive damages.

Any of the parties in this case may file an appeal with the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges.

OSHA does not publicly identify whistleblowers.

OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program enforces the whistleblower provisions of the STAA and 21 other statutes, protecting employees who report violations of public transportation agency, maritime, nuclear, pipeline, worker safety, and other laws.

   

Tagged categories: Asphalt; Commercial contractors; Concrete repair; Health and safety; OSHA; Regulations; Rehabilitation/Repair; Roads/Highways

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Bullard

The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable


Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.


ABKaelin, LLC
Quality is our bottom line

Services include:
• Environmental, Health &
  Safety
• Contractor QP Certification
• Quality Assurance Programs
  and Auditing
• SSPC C3/C5 and other
  Training
• Coatings
• Design/Construction
See our website at abkaelin.com or contact us today abkaelin@comcast.com


PaintSquare
SSPC 2014 Product Demos

Watch product demos by SSPC 2014 exhibitors. Check them out now!


DeHumidification Technologies
HUMIDITY PROBLEMS?

DH Tech has the most innovative and reliable equipment available to
control humidity efficiently
and effectively.
IT'S UNDER CONTROL!


Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal

Strip it, clean it, and profile it,
all dust free! High production
rates and Blast like finishes.
Comply with new lead
standards.


US Minerals
US Minerals -
Black Magnum

With nationwide production and distribution capabilities, U.S. Minerals supplies a complete range of coal slag and other abrasives to meet all of your blasting needs.

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker JPCL Europe

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2014, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com