U.S. Department of Labor sues a Staten Island, New York, public health center and its CEO after they suspended and later fired an employee who reported coronavirus-related health and safety risks, including potentially exposed staff to the virus and lack of proper social distance protocols, announced department Tuesday.
The employee expressed concern to management that a personal presence at a staff meeting in March 2020 could lead to the transmission and reduction of the virus. The worker tried to reschedule the meeting by telephone, but in the end personally refused to attend the meeting after the management refused the scheduling change. The center and the CEO were later suspended and then terminated the employee according to a statement.
An employee later submitted a complaint against reprisals to the Swedish Work Environment Authority, which found that the health center and the CEO had violated laws against reprisals. , which triggered the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District in New York.
The suit is named Community Health Center of Richmond Inc. and CEO Henry Thompson and claims that they were interrupted and then fired, the six-year veteran worker. shortly after the employee reported a dangerous employment relationship with Thompson, according to the statement.
The department's complaint asks the court to ask the health center to delete the employee's register of unlawful dismissal and to pay damages for all the past. and future lost wages and benefits as a result of the dismissal, including compensation and punitive damages, including compensation for emotional pain and distress, according to the statement.
More insurance and work compensation news about the coronavirus crisis here .