CLEAR LAKE, IA – A worker, who was fired from Absolute Waste Removal for raising safety concerns, is getting his job back.
The truck driver spoke up when procedures changed and he found there weren’t enough seat belts in the company’s trucks for everyone, which is a U.S. Department of Transportation violation. He refused to drive the vehicle and was fired for it in February of last year.
The Department of Labor ruled that was a wrongful termination.
They’re ordering Absolute Waste Removal to give the driver his job back, along with pay, benefit, back pay plus interest and attorney’s fees.
One Labor Department spokesperson tells us, employees should be able to speak freely to their bosses about workplace concerns.
“It’s really important that workers understand that they do have rights in the workplace, they have a right to a safe work environment, they have a right to voice those concerns when they see things that are being done in an unsafe manner and not to be retaliated against for doing so,” says Rhonda Burke.
The worker will receive more than $123,000 in compensation.
Absolute Waste Removal will have a chance to appeal this decision.