Hotel Worker Allegedly Fired for Seeking Medical Attention Due to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
OSHA filed a lawsuit against the hotel’s operator and owner.
- By Shereen Hashem
- Apr 05, 2021
A Texas hotel worker was illegally fired after going to the hospital regarding exposure to carbon monoxide. According to a press release, in January of 2019, a worker at Holiday Inn Express & Suites hotel alerted his or her employer of the exposure which made him/her sick.
The employee refused to call an ambulance after requested to do so or help in any way. The employer allegedly threatened to terminate the employee. After going to the hospital, the worker was fired.
Following an investigation, OSHA filed a lawsuit saying the hotel operator, All Seasons Hospitality and Investments LLC and its owner, Tanvir Shahmohd fired the employee for seeking medical treatment, in violation of the federal law.
“All Seasons Hospitality and Investments LLC and Tanvir Shahmohd violated the employee’s rights by terminating them for reporting unsafe working conditions and seeking medical care,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Eric S. Harbin in Dallas. “The U.S. Department of Labor provides protections for workers who exercise their right to raise safety concerns without the fear of retaliation.”
Filed on March 25, 2021, the lawsuit asks the court to order the employer to reinstate the employee, expunge the incident from the employee’s personnel record and pay back wages, interest, compensatory and punitive damages.
“When employers retaliate against their workers for seeking necessary medical treatment, the department will work vigorously to secure the appropriate legal redress for workers,” said Dallas Regional Solicitor of Labor John Rainwater.“The U.S. Department of Labor is dedicated to ensuring safe and healthful working conditions in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”
OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program enforces the whistleblower provisions of the OSH Act and more than 20 whistleblower statutes. These statutes protect employees from retaliation for reporting violations of workplace safety. Click here to learn more about whistleblower protections.
Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.