MILWAUKEE — A machine operator employed by Wisconsin-based Dura-Fibre LLC has been awarded $100,000 in back wages by U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Wisconsin to resolve charges the company fired the employee for reporting injuries to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
According to the whistleblower lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor against Dura-Fibre, the machine operator reported injuries that he and a coworker sustained. The court found the company's policies of assigning disciplinary points to employees who report injuries was a potential deterrent to reporting work-related injuries, the Department of Labor said.
"This employee's commitment to workplace safety should be commended," OSHA Chicago regional administrator Kenneth Nishiyama Atha said in a statement. "Dura-Fibre has agreed to change its policy to allow employees to report work-related injuries without fear of discipline or retaliation."
As part of the settlement, Dura-Fibre will also erase the termination and all references to it off the employee's record as well as train its managers and employees on reporting injuries and illness, the Labor Department said.