USPS Retaliated Against Worker Who Filed Injury Report, Court Rules
The employee, who had told supervisors about the injury “and applied for workers’ compensation benefits” in 2019, was fired.
- By Alex Saurman
- May 11, 2023
A federal court determined that a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee who had filed an injury report in 2019 was “wrongfully fired,” OSHA announced.
According to a news release, the employee, who was still in the new hire probation phase, told supervisors about the injury “and applied for workers’ compensation benefits.” Before the employee was fired, performance evaluations had been put on hold, OSHA—which conducted an investigation—later learned.
Following a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Solicitor in 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, which published a summary judgment, decided in May 2023 that “the USPS did retaliate against the employee.” The mail company is required to rid the employee’s record of “any negative reference to the employee’s protected activity and termination,” OSHA said. (Other asks from the lawsuit such as lost wages as well as reinstatement will be addressed late next month.)
“The summary judgment we have obtained is an important step toward fully protecting the rights of an employee terminated wrongfully for reporting a workplace injury and signals to other postal workers that they should not fear retaliation when exercising their rights,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Marc Pilotin in San Francisco in the news release.
Under a permanent injunction from the court, Tacoma USPS facilities must educate probationary employees on one of these rights—the right to report injuries without worrying about any negative consequences—per OSHA. If these workers report an injury, the facilities are also required to provide “an equal opportunity to complete probation.”
In addition to these actions, Tacoma USPS facilities must “train all officers, supervisors and employees on federal anti-retaliation regulations.”
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