Wisconsin readers who follow workplace issues may be interested in a recent decision regarding retaliation against a whistleblower. A U.S. Postal Service worker will receive nearly $230,000 in damages for retaliation that he suffered after advising a co-worker to report health concerns to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The worker filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA after being subjected to a hostile work environment.
According to the complaint and subsequent investigation, the worker had been refused a promotion, publicly humiliated, demoted and made to work in an unheated storage room. A federal judge heard the case over the course of a five-day bench trial. The judge found that the worker had been retaliated against and that he was entitled to protection under a federal act that prohibits retaliation against employees by their managers. In addition to damages, the worker must be promoted to an equivalent pay rate to what he would have earned had he received the promotion that he had been denied.