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$ 650,000 in damages for the contractor’s illegal retaliation



A federal jury in the Massachusetts district has found that an employer in Massachusetts and his company took revenge on an immigrant employee who reported an occupational injury.

The whistleblower trial Acosta v. Tara Construction Inc. and Pedro Pirez, filed in 2019, alleging that the defendants Tara Construction Inc. and its CEO, Pedro Pirez, initiated a law enforcement investigation and facilitated the employee’s detention by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after the employee reported a serious injury, prompting OSHA to open a investigation.

According to OSHA, Mr. Pirez that the injured worker met him at the Tara Construction office and the employee was arrested immediately after leaving the building. OSHA does not name employees in whistleblower lawsuits.

Although Pirez testified to OSHA that he had no idea how law enforcement officials knew where the employee was when he was arrested, a law enforcement account shows that Pirez told a police officer who was present at the arrest when the employee was at Tara Construction̵

7;s office. . Mr Pirez further informed the official that he had no objections to the employee’s arrest there. This account is supported by text messages and records of approximately 14 phone calls between Mr. Pirez and police during the days surrounding the arrest, according to OSHA.

The jury awarded $ 650,000 in damages – $ 600,000 in punitive damages and $ 50,000 in compensatory damages – as a result, the Department of Labor announced Wednesday.


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