A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has awarded $1.04 million in lost wages and punitive damages to two former employees of a Montgomeryville manufacturer. A jury found that the company and its owner fired them in retaliation for participating in a federal safety investigation.

The court recognized that all employees have a federally protected right to speak out against unsafe and unhealthy working conditions, to participate in U.S. Department of Labor investigations, and to be compensated if they are terminated in retaliation for exercising those rights. The significant punitive damages sends a strong message to this employer and others that deliberately violating these laws will not be tolerated.

~ Regional Solicitor Oscar L. Hampton III, in Philadelphia

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of more than 20 whistleblower statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, motor vehicle safety, healthcare reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, and securities laws.