An employee of a company would like to think that, if a safety issue is reported in good faith, the company will take steps to address and ameliorate the issue. This was not the case for one California man, who has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against his former employer. The chain of Goodwill stores is currently facing another lawsuit and a series of safety violations, as well as the lawsuit from the fired employee.
The Northern California chain of stores has been issued more citations than any other chain of Goodwill stores in the state. The incident to which the man’s lawsuit is related resulted in safety violations and a record-breaking fine from the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration. A man’s head was crushed during his shift when it became trapped in a dangerous area near a compactor.
The man who brought the lawsuit, a co-worker of the deceased man, had previously reported safety issues. After the incident with the compactor, he was let go from his employment. Goodwill claimed that he had violated safety procedures. He claims he had been fired in retaliation for whistleblowing.
The former employee has taken his claims to court, and the case is pending. Goodwill has addressed other safety issues brought by OSHA. The man continues to struggle with the emotional anguish and monetary losses due to the tragic incident. Employees are protected against wrongful termination by federal and state law. A person who feels that they have been the victim of wrongful termination may choose to consult with an attorney for help with the case.
Source: The Sacramento Bee, “Sacramento Goodwill faces new lawsuits, worker safety investigations“, Marjie Lundstrom, Sept. 9, 2017