Contractor Sued for Firing Worker with Safety Concerns
A Florida security contractor is being sued by the U.S. DOL after allegedly terminating a worker with safety concerns regarding COVID-19 exposure and firearm storage protocols.The worker filed a retaliation complaint with OSHA, leading to an investigation and lawsuit by the DOL in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Move Prompts COVID Complaints
VRP Group Inc., doing business as Regius Investigations and Protective Services, is accused of illegally firing the worker in August 2020, shortly after the worker texted supervisors on a secure messaging app to report hazardous working conditions.
This group was initially based in a hotel but was later moved to temporary housing at another location.
The worker was concerned about the move and conflicts that would arise with social distancing and firearm storage policies, and they brought these concerns to supervisors.
An investigation by OSHA found that the company violated federal whistle-blower provisions by terminating the employee for engaging in the protected activities of making a good faith health and safety complaint.