An Oklahoma City roofing and building products company has been ordered to reinstate two employees and pay more than $23,000 in back wages to each employee and $70,000 in punitive damages in a workplace safety whistleblower case.
According to U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, two truck drivers for Gulfeagle Supply in Oklahoma City reported to a manager that the tires on a company truck were unsafe. Concerned about their own safety and that of others on the road, the two drivers refused to operate vehicles with unsafe tires. They were terminated in August 2020.
An OSHA investigation found that Gulfeagle Supply violated the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. In addition to in reinstating the employees, paying restitution and punitive damages, OSHA ordered the company to train managers and employees on workers’ rights under the STAA.
Gulfeagle Supply may appeal the order to the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges.
With corporate headquarters in Tampa, Florida, Gulfeagle has 80 roofing and building products locations in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.
OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program enforces the whistleblower provisions of 25 whistleblower statutes protecting employees from retaliation for reporting violations of various workplace safety and health, airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health insurance reform, motor vehicle safety, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, securities and tax laws, and for engaging in other related protected activities.
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