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Federal court rules in Luzerne County whistleblower case

A federal court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania has ruled in favor of a former employee at a Luzerne County company in a whistleblower case.

Midvale Paper Box Company Inc., Plains Twp., must pay $13,000 to the former employee, who was fired after the employer assumed the worker filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2017.

A different employee filed a safety complaint about protective equipment and tagout/lockout procedures, according to a statement from U.S. Department of Labor. But federal law protects a worker’s right to file an OSHA complaint.

The Labor Department argued the termination was illegal and a violation of an employee’s whistleblower rights.

In addition to payment, Midvale must also conduct training under OSHA guidelines with current employees and provide a neutral job reference for the fired worker.