UPS Pays $254,000 to Mechanic Following Whistleblower Investigation

As the result of an OSHA investigation, United Parcel Service Inc. has paid $254,000 to a mechanic who was terminated by the delivery carrier after complaining about unsafe conditions in trucks at the company's Watertown, N.Y., garage. The former employee filed complaints with OSHA alleging violations of the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA's investigation found merit to the complaints, and the agency informed UPS on Dec. 20, 2007, of this preliminary finding.

After receiving the agency's findings, UPS elected to settle the case. In addition to paying the complainant the $254,000 in remedies, UPS will post OSHA whistleblower fact sheets in all its New York facilities and agrees that it will not in any manner interfere with, coerce, or restrain its employees from exercising their rights under STAA and the OSH Act, OSHA says. In agreeing to the settlement, UPS neither admits nor denies the allegations of the complaint.

"Employees are entitled to raise legitimate workplace safety and health concerns without fear of termination or retaliation," said Louis Ricca Jr., OSHA's acting regional administrator in New York. "We will not hesitate to ensure that right is legally protected. In this case, the settlement goes beyond one employee in one location and ensures that UPS employees throughout the Empire State are aware of this vital safeguard."

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the OSH Act and 15 other statutes covering employees in the transportation, environmental and financial services industries. These include STAA, which provides protections for private sector drivers and other employees relating to the safety or security of commercial motor vehicles. Detailed information on employee whistleblower rights, including fact sheets, is available online at www.osha.gov/dep/oia/whistleblower/index.html.

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