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Can anything be done?

Discussion in 'Employment, Labor, Work Issues' started by anon1895037524784, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. anon1895037524784

    anon1895037524784 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I’m going to try to keep this as anonymous as possible. The supervisor of a local dump truck company is loosening lug nuts on the trucks so they can make sure drivers are doing pre trips in the morning. I understand the importance of pre trips and why they would do this but there are better ways that aren’t as dangerous. What if one was missed and someone ended up dead? Management is aware of what is going on and sees no problem with it. This company also asks employees to drive unsafe trucks and threatens to fire them if they refuse. A former employee filed an anonymous complaint (prior to the loosening of lug nuts) and was fired the next day. What could an employee do in this situation? Is there anything that could keep them from getting fired if they file a complaint or at least protect them? They are also constantly belittling employees including telling one heavier employee that if he could push himself away from the dinner plate, he wouldn’t need special equipment in his truck.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    True. Observation and supervision come to mind.

    Workers comp.

    How are the trucks unsafe? (Other than the lug nuts.)

    To whom did he make the complaint? Couldn't have been too anonymous if he was identified and fired the next day.

    He'd have been better off making the complaint to OSHA.

    Nothing prevents termination though there are remedies for termination.

    https://www.workplacefairness.org/whistleblower-retaliation-claim-IN

    There may be some protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act:

    Is Obesity a Disability Under the ADA? - FindLaw

    But not necessarily against the belittling as long as he has his job and the special equipment in the truck.
     
  3. anon1895037524784

    anon1895037524784 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes observation and supervision would be a way to prevent that but creating a hazardous situation is not. Is workers comp a true compensation for someone’s life? This puts other drivers on the road at risk also. Trucks with bad brakes and barely able to stop, etc. I believe the complaint was made to DOT or the state police as they are able to perform DOT inspections and they found out which employee through friends by the phone number that was used to call. That was an example of the treatment there. It would be up to that employee to pursue that if he wanted. He does have the special equipment but was required to pay for it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Probably a good case for a lawsuit then.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Any number of dozens (perhaps even hundreds) of things might happen. If your intent was to ask whether the person who loosened the nuts might possibly be criminally and/or civilly liable, the answer is yes.

    An employee could, hypothetically, do any number of dozens (maybe even hundreds) of things, including, but not limited to, quitting and contacting the local OSHA office.

    Keep them from getting fired? No, but termination for this reason could be held to be illegal, which would give the fired employee the right to compensation in a lawsuit.
     
  6. anon1895037524784

    anon1895037524784 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The person working at this company cannot afford to lose their job. They are looking for another job but, with it being winter, there aren’t any openings right now. I told that person to start taking pictures if they can. Keep any texts or messages regarding driving unsafe trucks and being threatened with termination for now and just to make sure their truck is safe and, once that person finds other employment and if those things are still happening, to file a complaint. I’m not really sure what else they could do at this point because it seems that this company has multiple avenues to find out who files a complaint and finds a reason to terminate them. The person that filed a complaint prior was terminated for other reasons on paper of course but everyone at the company was told that the employee was fired for making the call. I thought about calling and filing a complaint myself but I feel the connection would be recognized if they found out. So I guess my next question would be, if I complained, they found out, and terminated the employee for other reasons on paper, would they still be able to get compensation? I do not want to mess up someone else’s life and ability to make ends meet.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like this person should really be on their game then.
     
  8. anon1895037524784

    anon1895037524784 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So should I make that call and hope for the best or leave it be and hope for the best? It’s really a double edged sword and I honestly don’t know what my better option is.
     
  9. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I'm struggling to understand why you should or would do anything since this situation seemingly has nothing to do with you.

    At the end of the day, it makes no difference to me or any of the other anonymous strangers who post here whether or not you do anything.

    Of course, if you are the employee to whom you've been referring in the third person, then I would strongly suggest you consult with a local attorney who handles employment matters.
     
  10. anon1895037524784

    anon1895037524784 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    If I were to call, it would only be to try to save that employee from whatever retaliation that would come from that. It’s really a safety concern for anybody on the road in the areas they’re working. I get that you don’t care about what happens because it doesn’t involve you but I’m asking for advice on the legal side of things and what the best course of action would be legally.
     
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing illegal about you making an anonymous complaint.
     
  12. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Unless you're personally involved, "the best course of action . . . legally" would be for you to stay out of it. If you are personally involved, then consult with an attorney, as I previously suggested.
     
  13. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    An example of Occam's Razor in an effort to help you answer your question:

    Do you have a headache?

    “Oh no… you might have Covid-19!

    Sure, it's true that one of the symptoms of Covid-19 is a headache but, using Occam's razor, it's obviously much more likely that you're dehydrated or suffering from a common cold.

    If something doesn't directly involve or affect you, its often wise to "stay out of it" and "don't comment on it publicly".

    Dad regularly told me, "Son, think anything you want, but be very careful what you verbalize or allow to carry your name and reputation."
     

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