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SHAWNEE, Okla. -- Modern Oil Co., which operates some 30 Kwick Stop Convenience Stores, was accused by the U.S. Department of Labor of illegally firing an employee who complained about workplace safety issues last year, according to a report by The Oklahoman.
A call from CSNews requesting comment from Modern Oil was not returned by press time. According to the newspaper report, one of the company's employees complained to OSHA that workers were exposed to safety hazards when beverage boxes were stacked too high.
In a lawsuit filed July 15 in federal court in Oklahoma City, Monica Williams said she previously complained to a store manager and was fired Aug. 22, 2009, after the store manager determined she was the one who contacted OSHA.
"Employees should be free to exercise their rights under the law without fear of termination or retaliation by their employers," said William A. Burke, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Dallas. "This lawsuit underscores the Labor Department's commitment to vigorously take action to protect those rights."
The Labor Department is seeking reinstatement, back pay and damages on Williams' behalf,The Oklahoman reported.
Modern Oil has approximately 300 employees.