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SHAWNEE, Okla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor and Modern Oil Co. Inc., operating as Kwick Stop Convenience Stores and Sparkman Brothers Inc., have settled a lawsuit filed by the department over Modern Oil's alleged illegal termination of a cashier who safety complaint.
As CSNews Online previously reported, a cashier at a Kwick Stop in Shawnee complained to a supervisor that beverage boxes inside the cooler were stacked too high. When no changes were made, the employee followed up with a complaint to the local Occupational Safety and Health Administration and was fired a few weeks later.
"Every employee has the right to a safe and healthful workplace, and no one should ever fear losing a job or facing retaliation by an employer for exercising that right," said William A. Burke, OSHA acting regional administrator in Dallas. "This settlement underscores the Labor Department's commitment to protect workers who have been treated unfairly simply for doing the right thing."
Court filings with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma state that the settlement provides for injunctive relief and reinstates the terminated cashier as a full-time employee with $17,000 in back wages. It also requires that modern Oil posts notices of the Occupational Safety and Health Act's anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation provisions at its locations.
Under various whistleblower-protection laws, employees who report violations of health and safety cannot be retaliated against. More information on OSHA regulations and whistleblower protections can be found at www.whistleblowers.gov.