person wearing black suit and tie carrying a cardboard box filled with notebooks, binders and paper

Dallas Church Must Reinstate, Pay Back Wages to ‘Wrongfully Fired’ Employee, OSHA Says

The employee was terminated after raising concerns about conditions at a childcare facility.

A nutrition specialist employed by a church was “wrongfully fired” in 2021, but now, more than a year and a half later, OSHA said the employer must reinstate them and pay back wages.

The specialist, who worked for a childcare facility run by New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Dallas, “raised concerns about rodents, spiders and other insects in its cafeteria, kitchen and other areas” before being terminated in August 2021, per a news release.

On March 16, 2023, OSHA announced that it found New Mount Zion Baptist Church in violation of the Food Safety Modernization Act and is requiring the employee to be paid “back wages, interest and compensatory damages," the agency said. The church must also reinstate the employee.

“New Mount Zion Baptist Church's actions toward the employee are unacceptable and deeply concerning,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Eric S. Harbin in Dallas in the news release.

“The existence of rodents and insects in food preparation and serving areas poses a health hazard. The employee had the legal right to express apprehensions about the unhygienic surroundings and should not have been fired for doing so,” Harbin continued.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

Product Showcase

  • Magid® D-ROC® GPD412 21G Ultra-Thin Polyurethane Palm Coated Work Gloves

    Magid’s 21G line is more than just a 21-gauge glove, it’s a revolutionary knitting technology paired with an advanced selection of innovative fibers to create the ultimate in lightweight cut protection. The latest offering in our 21G line provides ANSI A4 cut resistance with unparalleled dexterity and extreme comfort that no other 21-gauge glove on the market can offer! Read More

  • Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker WBGT Monitoring for Workplace Safety

    Ensure safety with the Kestrel® 5400 Heat Stress Tracker, the go-to choice for safety professionals and endorsed by the Heat Safety & Performance Coalition. This robust, waterless WBGT meter is ideal for both indoor and outdoor environments, offering advanced monitoring and data logging essential for OSHA compliance. It features pre-programmed ACGIH guidelines and alert settings to quickly signal critical conditions. Integrated with the cloud-based Ambient Weather Network, the 5400 allows managers to view, track, and log job site conditions remotely, ensuring constant awareness of potential hazards. Its capability for real-time mobile alerts and remote data access promotes proactive safety management and workplace protection, solidifying its role as a crucial tool in industrial hygiene. Read More

  • Matrix's OmniPro Vision AI Collision Avoidance System

    OmniPro Vision AI is a state-of-the-art collision avoidance system that features NIOSH award-winning Visual Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. This highly accurate, powerful system identifies and alerts on pedestrians, vehicles and specified objects, ensuring safer facilities, mining operations and industrial sites. With its web-based cloud application, OmniPro Vision AI also logs and analyzes a wide range of data related to zone breach notifications. Operating without needing personal wearable devices or tags, OmniPro has visual and audible zone breach alerts for both operators and pedestrians. Read More

Featured

Webinars