DOL Fines Employer in New Jersey $180,000 for Workplace Safety Violations
On October 3rd, 2023, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) fined an employer in New Jersey more than $180,000 for workplace safety violations. Litana Development Inc.—a contractor based in Passaic County—allowed employees of subcontractors to work dangerously close to high-voltage power lines without taking the proper safety precautions. Here, our New Jersey employee rights attorney provides an overview of the enforcement action and explains your right to report a suspected safety violation without facing retaliation from your employer.
DOL: Employees of Subcontractors Worked Dangerously Close to High-Voltage Power Lines
Following a comprehensive workplace safety investigation, the DOL reached a settlement agreement with Litana Development Inc. The federal agency determined that the company had employees from four separate subcontractors work dangerously close to high-voltage power lines.
OSHA found that the workplace safety violation put the employees at a life-threatening electrical risk. The violation occurred multiple times, in both 2021 and 2022. OSHA eventually issued an imminent danger notice and, subsequently, obtained a court order to restrict work near the lines.
To resolve the issue, Litana moved the power lines in question. In addition, the company was and was fined $180,000. As part of the settlement agreement, the New Jersey employer also agreed to implement enhanced safety measures and to develop a written workplace safety plan.
Notably, OSHA holds general contractors legally responsible for certain workplace safety practices when assigning job duties to employees of subcontractors. A contractor may bear liability for harm suffered by a subcontractor.
Workers in New Jersey Have the Right to Report Suspected Safety Violations
New Jersey workers are empowered by law to voice their concerns regarding potential safety hazards in their workplaces without fear of retaliation. Indeed, you should be able to report your suspicions of a job-related safety violation without being punished. Recognizing the vital role workers play in ensuring a safe and secure work environment for every person at a jobsite, state and federal law encourages employees to be vigilant and proactive.
If a worker suspects a safety violation, they can confidentially report it to OSHA or a state agency. There are protections in place to ensure that those who come forward are not subject to any adverse actions by their employers. If you are terminated or otherwise punished by an employer for reporting a suspected workplace safety violation, you can bring a retaliation claim. A New Jersey retaliation lawyer can help you take action to get justice and compensation for your damages.
Get Help From Our New Jersey Employment Law Attorney Today
At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, our New Jersey employment lawyer handles the full range of workplace cases, including retaliation claims. Our firm is devoted to helping employees get justice. If you have questions about an employment law case, we are here to help. Contact us today for your strictly private, no obligation case evaluation. With a law office in Monmouth County, our firm provides employee rights representation throughout New Jersey.