The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against The Ohio Bell Telephone Company, operating as AT&T, for suspending 13 employees after they reported workplace injuries from 2011 to 2013.
According to a press release from the department, there were 13 incidents where an employee was either disciplined or given a 1- to 3-day unpaid suspension when the employee reported that they were hurt on the job. The company alleges the injured employees violated a corporate workplace safety standard. However, an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that the suspension were a result of the employee’s reporting their injuries.
The suit alleges that the company violated the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise concerns to their employer. In the press release, the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health is quoted as saying, “It is against the law for employers to discipline or suspend employees for reporting injuries.”