OSHA Orders Technology Firm to Rehire Whistleblower, Pay Him $600K

OSHA has ordered e-Smart Technologies Inc. to pay back wages with interest and approximately $600,000 in compensatory damages to a California worker who was discharged after raising concerns about misinformation contained in a draft public filing. The agency also ordered the company to reinstate the whistleblower to his former position.

e-Smart makes biometric smart cards and other products designed for security and homeland defense. The Labor Department does not release the names of employees involved in whistleblower complaints.

"It is vital that employees be able to raise fraud concerns to their employers without fear of retaliation," said OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels. "This order reaffirms both the right of employees to raise concerns regarding violations of Securities and Exchange Commission rules and the Labor Department's commitment to protecting that right."

The action resulted from a whistleblower investigation conducted by OSHA's regional office in San Francisco under the whistleblower protection provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The investigation substantiated the employee's complaint that his job duties were systematically removed and his paychecks were delayed and ultimately stopped after he questioned the accuracy of several statements made in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

In addition to requiring e-Smart to fairly compensate and rehire the whistleblower, OSHA's order instructs the company to provide a neutral reference, expunge his personnel file of any reference to his exercise of rights under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and post a notice to employees outlining whistleblower protections. e-Smart Technologies is a registered Nevada corporation with an office in New York. The company or complainant may file objections or request a hearing before DOL's Office of Administrative Law Judges within 30 days.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and 16 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various securities laws; trucking, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, rail, workplace safety and health regulations; and consumer product safety laws. Under the provisions, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise various protected concerns or provide protected information to the employer or to the government. Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with the secretary of labor. Fact sheets and detailed information on employee whistleblower rights are available online at www.osha.gov/dep/oia/whistleblower/index.html.

Product Showcase

  • SlateSafety BAND V2

    SlateSafety BAND V2

    SlateSafety's BAND V2 is the most rugged, easy-to-use connected safety wearable to help keep your workforce safe and help prevent heat stress. Worn on the upper arm, this smart PPE device works in tandem with the SlateSafety V2 system and the optional BEACON V2 environmental monitor. It includes comprehensive, enterprise-grade software that provides configurable alert thresholds, real-time alerts, data, and insights into your safety program's performance all while ensuring your data is secure and protected. Try it free for 30 days. 3

  • Safety Knives

    The Safety Knife Company has developed a quality range of safety knives for all industries. Designed so that fingers cannot get to the blades, these knives will safely cut through cardboard, tape, strapping, shrink or plastic wrap or a variety of other packing materials. Because these knives have no exposed blades and only cut cardboard deep, they will not only protect employees against lacerations but they will also save product. The Metal Detectable versions have revolutionary metal detectable polypropylene knife bodies specifically for the food and pharmaceutical industries. This material can be detected and rejected by typical detection machines and is X-ray visible. 3

  • Preventative Heat Safety

    Dehydration and heat exposure impair physical and cognitive performance. Proper hydration boosts heat stress resilience, but hydration needs are highly individualized and hard to predict across a workforce. Connected Hydration® empowers industrial athletes to stay safe through behavioral interventions, informed by sports science, and equips safety teams with critical insights to anticipate high-risk situations and adapt to evolving environmental factors. Curious about applying the latest in sports science based hydration strategies for industrial athletes? Stop by booth #1112 at AIHA or schedule a free demo today at https://epcr.cc/demo. 3

Featured

Webinars