In July 2011, a Pacific Gas & Electric line crew was told to repair a broken electrical pole in Santa Cruz County. Whenever possible, the company tries to perform repairs without interrupting customers’ electrical service, and their supervisor said the pole could be safely repaired without cutting power. While they were working, however, a cross arm broke sending two live, high-voltage wires plunging down and coming within inches of touching. If they had, there would have been a disastrous explosion.
Two highly-paid engineers for a Woodland Hills defense contractor were frog-marched out of their offices and fired because they refused to lie to the Navy about potentially dangerous flaws in guided missiles the company was providing for the military, they claim in a recent lawsuit. They also believe their firings were partially motivated by age discrimination.
The National Labor Relations Board stated that Wal-Mart violated employee rights in California and 13 other states. The federal agency said that the charges against the U.S. retailer included unlawfully disciplining, threatening or firing employees for taking part in strikes and protests that are protected by law. The NLRB stated that unless the parties reached settlements, the agency was ready to issue complaints.
Working in a warehouse can be tough enough without 90-degree heat to contend with. Last Friday was just such a day in Mira Loma, and workers at a warehouse there operated by Olivet International Inc. took two or three heat breaks, as they say was customary at the company. Last week, however, ten of those workers found themselves abruptly suspended, indefinitely, for taking a five-minute head break.
In 2009, a number of groups were investigating what really goes on in poultry processing plants, including a couple of reporters for the Charlotte Observer. Part of the reporters' investigation related to workplace injuries in the poultry industry, so they contacted Bob Whitmore, then head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's record keeping section. In an interview, he revealed that injuries to workers were routinely underreported in the industry and criticized OSHA for allowing that to happen.
When a mortgage-backed securities strategist at the global financial services UBS AG was told to publish what he thought were misleading research reports, he complained to his managers. In return, he says, he was fired in retaliation for reporting the illegal conduct in violation of whistleblower protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
In April 2012, an electrician who worked at a Colorado coal mine noticed a dangerous situation at the mine's conveyer belt, or beltline. When he decided it wasn't being adequately addressed by his supervisor, he filed a report with the Mine Safety and Health Administration, which responded by inspecting the mine works and citing the company, New Elk Coal Company LLC, owned by Cline Mining Corporation, with several safety citations. In May, the electrician was fired.
The former manager of Walt Disney Co.'s collections and preservation department in Los Angeles has filed a lawsuit against the entertainment giant claiming that it had him shunned and abruptly fired him after he reported a subordinate's sexual harassment complaint. He claims that his superiors urged his co-workers to shun him, even going so far as to de-friend him on Facebook, and refused to give him any form of professional reference after firing him. In essence, he was blacklisted.
A California nurse is suing her workplace for wrongful termination after being fired from her assistant nurse manager position after revealing that patients were allegedly being cared for unsafely at her hospital. She claims she was fired for reporting that there were serious errors in distribution of medication, improper transfers of patients to the wrong care units, as well as admission violations. She complained to her superiors of these issues for over a year, attempting to increase safety for the patients and present specific issues of patient care to the management.