When you're injured on the job, you are expected to seek out medical assistance to take care of your wounds. However, it's not expected that you'll be fired after the injury in an act of retaliation by your employer. Yet one Texas worker is claiming retaliation is exactly what occurred after he essentially blew the proverbial whistle on a job-related accident.
The incident occurred while the male worker was working at a construction site at a Texas high-rise complex. A piece of rebar came loose from the crane that was carrying it and hit the worker. The rebar fell onto the worker's back, and he then went to a medical clinic to treat his non-life threatening injuries.
At the clinic, he explained what had occurred. The clinic, acting in accordance with regulations, informed an OSHA worker of the incident. Because OSHA had not been informed of the incident by the employer, the employer was presumably placed in a bad light. OSHA met with the worker soon after the incident, and the worker was fired the following day.
Representatives for the worker claim that the firing amounted to retaliation, even though the worker didn't intend to become a whistleblower. His employer, which claims to have an excellent record with OSHA, has not given a public statement surrounding the case. A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the worker by the Workers Defense Project, an organization that is reminding everyone that it is federally illegal to retaliate against workers who may be seen as whistleblowers.
Source: keyetv.com, Injured Austin Worker's Firing Sparks Protest, Jay Root, Nov. 24, 2013