DOL Settles Encore Management Co. Whistleblower Suit

The U.S. Department of Labor has entered into a settlement with Encore Management Co. in Arlington to resolve findings by OSHA that the company illegally terminated an employee because she complained about safety and health issues.

OSHA whistleblower investigators found that Encore Management terminated the employee, who served as the community director at one of the apartment complexes it managed, after discovering she filed a complaint with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) regarding possible asbestos exposure.

"Employees should be free to exercise their rights under the law without fear of termination or retaliation by their employers," said Dean W. McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "This settlement underscores the Labor Department's commitment to vigorously take action to protect those rights."

The employee expressed concerns to her supervisor that a renovation project at the complex was exposing workers to asbestos. When Encore Management failed to address the employee's concerns, she filed a complaint with DSHS, which conducted an inspection and found the apartment complex had not performed sufficient asbestos testing prior to beginning its renovation and had hired an unlicensed contractor to remove known asbestos material.

After being terminated, the employee filed a whistleblower complaint alleging she had been fired by Encore Management in retaliation for filing the complaint with DSHS. OSHA investigated the complaint and determined that Encore Management's termination of the employee was in violation of the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

The company entered into a voluntary settlement after OSHA referred the case to the Labor Department's Solicitor's Office for enforcement. Pursuant to the terms of the settlement, Encore Management paid the complainant $25,000 for lost wages, job seeking expenses, out of pocket medical expenses, and a year of future lost earnings. The company also agreed to provide the complainant with a neutral job reference and remove derogatory information related to her termination from her personnel file.

Encore Management, headquartered in California, provides property management services to several apartment complexes throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area. OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the OSH Act and 16 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various trucking, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, rail, and securities laws. Detailed information about employee whistleblower rights, including fact sheets, is available online at www.osha.gov/dep/oia/whistleblower/index.html.

Download Center

  • Industrial Premium Library

    Empower your workforce with the manufacturing, industrial maintenance, operations, HSE, compliance, and professional development skills they need to complete their tasks efficiently and safely. Not only will you boost productivity, reliability, skills, and morale but you’ll also onboard faster, and retain your best employees while meeting regulatory standards. Vector Solutions offers over 1,800 award-winning eLearning courses designed to keep your employees safe, transfer knowledge of fundamentals, and develop industry and job-specific skills that reduce downtime, maintenance costs and more.

  • Safety Metrics & Insights Webinar

    EHS professionals have been tackling the subject of how to best measure performance for many years. Lagging indicators like the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted Transfer Rate (DART) are a good place to start, but you shouldn’t forget about the leading indicators that your workforce does every day to prevent incidents from occurring. Learn about some of the most common KPIs of safety programs and how Vector EHS Management software can be used to track these metrics in this webinar.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively. Download this guide for details on risk matrix calculations including severity, probability, and risk assessment.

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2022

    September 2022

    Featuring:

    • ESG
      EHS Will Guide Future ESG Success for Many Organizations
    • MACHINE GUARDING
      Handling Material Handlers: Training Beyond PIT Requirements
    • EHS SOFTWARE
      The Missing Link with EHS Software
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Noise Surveys from the Trenches
    View This Issue