U.S. Department of Labor files lawsuit against USPS On Behalf Of Fired Whistleblower

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed suit against the U.S. Postal Service, alleging that a former Seattle Processing and Distribution Center postal employee was discharged in violation of the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970.

According to the court documents:

On or about January 21, 2008, the postal employee made a health complaint to her supervisor that she was suffering from a severe allergic reaction due to her work on a particular piece of machinery. In response to her complaint, the postal employee’s manager sent her to another part of the processing center. No official report of her complaint was made until more than three months later. On February 7, 2008, the postal employee told her supervisor she would no longer work on the piece of machinery she believed caused her allergic reaction. Defendant continued to schedule the postal employee to work on the machinery even though there were other places in the facility that she could work and there were other employees available to work on the machinery. On February 20, 2008, the postal employee discussed her health concerns with a union steward and another regular employee; the two regular employees directed her to a designated postal safety officer, who gave her contact information for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in order to report her health concerns. The fact that she received this information was reported to Defendant on the same day. On or about February 22, 2008, Defendant ceased scheduling the postal employee for hours of work. On February 25, 2008, the postal employee filed a health complaint with OSHA. On February 28, 2008, the postal employee filed a complaint alleging a violation of § 11(c) with OSHA.

Section 11(c) of the OSH Act prohibits discharge or other discrimination against an employee for reporting a work-related fatality, injury or illness. It also prohibits retaliation against employees for filing a safety or health complaint, or for exercising a wide range of other rights afforded to them by the act.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, the complaint seeks to reinstate the employee and to secure back pay, interest, punitive damages, other relief and an order permanently enjoining the U.S. Postal Service from violating the anti-discrimination provisions of the OSH Act.

13 thoughts on “U.S. Department of Labor files lawsuit against USPS On Behalf Of Fired Whistleblower

  1. MICRO MANAGEMENT!!!! Overtime out the Ying Yang! Overworking Full Time Employees to do the job of 2, not realizing, that after months of overtime, the USPS is causing health issues. People are getting injured, sick, and their bodies are starting to hurt. They can’t sleep well and are having family issues. You can’t schedule anything on your days off, because your forced to work one or both of them. Hiring or posting a bid for 1 or 2 more persons, to limit the work load on 1, is out of the question. This is a way they can disipline you, so you will give up and quit or retire. By working you to death. Yep more claims for W/Comp will increase, if they don’t cut back on the over time ans start hiring or posting more job bids. Especially out the Stations, where customers aren’t getting faster service, so to lack of window clerks.

  2. This doesn’t surprise me; I got excessed to a different facility after working in one that did not house automated equipment and allergies have become a part of my every day life. Everyone should read the novel POSTAL BLUES by Nikki Coe a postal employee; it shows that crazyness in the USPS is universal. GO TO http://WWW.NIKKICOE.COM POSTAL BLUES

  3. For some strange reason I am not surprised by mgts. actions they all think the same way… all employees are their subjects not their working brother and sister postal employees!

  4. Between the first reporting of possible allergies and the second time when employee told the supervisor she was not going to work on the equipment did the employee do as directed by the supervisor? The part of the story is missing. I have had employees disobey direct orders due to “allergies” to the chemicals they needed to use to perform the work. I would not force an employee to perform the work. I would tell the employee they need to provide medical documentation to substantiate the claim. Everytime in my career that this has happened the employee would provide the needed documents and the matter was resolved. Did this supervisor move the employee to another operation and request medical documentation? Did the employee provide documentation? So much is missing from this story. Let the courts battle it out.

  5. I know first hand this was a casual who after complaining about her allergies while working on the DB’s/MPBCS was reassigned as a mailhandler. She complained about the hard work involved and still had allergy issues. She was rehired into the clerk craft and was assigned AFSM 100 and still had allergy problems. She went to the union safety rep who refered her to OSHA. She continuely called in sick so they eventually fired her.

  6. PS> I hope this woman gets at least ten million dollars & the feds slap the P.O. with a 40 million dollar fine for these violations & also violating her basic human rights & the specific supervisor also gets charges for violating her human rights & obstruction of justice which he is guilty of. A guy I worked alongside at the post office for years lost his home & basic livelihood because the post office fired him after getting hurt on the job & also being disabled. I work for the PO & If they went Bankrupt today I wouldnt give 2 shits because they get away with everyting & for some reason places like that always make it through.

  7. Jose Usps I once would have agreed with what you said above & do to a certain extent now because in some cases its true. But for the most part management & the postal service treat craft like capital S H I T. Im one of the hardest & fastest workers & Im always picking up someones slack & trying to motivate others to give more so we can get it done as efficiently as possible & go home to our families. Management constantly comes at me with more & more shit. Bullshit to be exact. I had HAD a close friend in management & I asked him whats the deal? He said it depends on the Postmaster of the place but mainly the district manager & he says at one point in time he was ordered by a DM to work hand in hand with craft but now the DM says to him craft is beneath you & not your friend you will push them & basically shit on them for anything you can. Now there are a few EAS members who are not evil but out of the 20 or so I’ve met about 3 were not evil the rest……… I wouldn’t piss in their ears if their heads were on fire.


  9. This is not the Post Office I started…..the PO will claim that they fired her PRIOR to her filing a claim…for refusing to work….go figure

  10. This won’t surprise anyone that works for the PO. We had to get a maintenence employee to steal a safety sheet on the Brulin’s Solution they were using to clean parts on the LSM’s years ago. Several of us were having bad reactions and they refused to allow us to see the safety sheet on it even though THAT is illegal. Once we obtained one behind their backs and found that the same solution they left in huge puddles for us to breathe as it evaporated wasn’t even supposed to be used without respirators we had to threaten a lawsuit to get them to quit using it. The PO doesn’t give a rat’s behind about your health. There are plenty of people who’ll take your job if you complain is their feeling and a dead employee is better than a damaged one because it costs them less.

  11. Fine Paper Dust Particulate can cause allergic reactions in the Lungs. It also can cause abnormal Heart beats. Fine particulate of any kind can cause all kinds health issues. It’s a shame the PO keeps fighting these dangerous health issues!

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