New York Company Pays $66,000 to Fired Whistleblower Who Asked for PPE

As a result of an investigation and legal action by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a Flushing, N.Y., apartment complex agreed to pay $66,000 in back wages to a former employee who was fired after objecting to unsafe working conditions.

An employee of Second Housing Co. Inc. was ordered to clean up insecticide residue in the complex's basement despite not having been trained in the handling of hazardous materials and the absence of personal protective equipment (PPE), OSHA reported. Concerned for his health and safety, he repeatedly asked for PPE and was fired as a result.

Under a consent judgment signed Jan. 24, 2008, by U.S. District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano, Second Housing will pay the back wages, plus interest, and inform its employees of their whistleblower rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

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