Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Men Terminated After Complaining to OHSA Awarded $332,000

In a case of outrageous and sad facts with a happy ending (albeit an ending in court through a jury), two men, Douglas Eki and Xerxes "Jason" Doctolero, who were terminated after finally complaining to the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHA) about lack of an on-the-job toilet have been awarded $332,000 by a Portland jury.   

The plaintiffs did mechanical work at the UK-based defendant-employer and, because of the lack of a toilet, urinated in a bucket or worse yet -- soiled their clothing -- because they couldn't get to a toilet fast enough, which was located at a neighboring business that was sometimes closed or use was refused.  The men finally complained to OSHA which cited the company for failing to provide restroom facilities and Eki and Doctolero were fired later that month--a big no-no.

Jurors awarded Doctolero $77,000 and Eki $15,000 in lost wages and benefits. Jurors also awarded each man $30,000 for pain and suffering, and $90,000 each for punitive damages. Under Oregon law, 60 percent of the punitive damage award will go to the state's crime victims compensation fund.  Oregonlive.com has the rest of the story here.  

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