A federal court has approved a workers’ compensation retaliation settlement for a former truck driver at a Northbrook waste management company.
$95,000.00 in Lost Wages Ordered
On July 6, 2021, U.S. District Court Judge Manish S. Shah of the Northern District of Illinois entered a consent judgment and order directing Advanced Disposal Services Solid Waste Midwest LLC to pay its former truck driver $95,000.00 in lost wages – minus applicable payroll taxes – and provide future employers with a neutral employment recommendation. Shah determined that the company violated federal law by retaliating against the driver for reporting a work injury and raising concerns that an unrepaired truck was unsafe to operate. The company continues to deny wrongdoing in the workers’ compensation retaliation claim.
Shah’s action follows an Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation finding that after the truck driver cited concerns about a vehicle’s safety problems, a company manager assigned the truck to a different driver and assigned the concerned driver to a vehicle with which he was unfamiliar.
While operating the new vehicle, the driver injured a finger. He filed a workers’ compensation claim, and his physician stated that he required light duty to recover. A subsequent company investigation faulted the driver for the injury and later fired him after management suspected him of reporting unsafe working conditions to the company’s hotline.
OSHA filed a complaint in federal court after it determined that the driver’s dismissal was in retaliation for protected activities under the whistleblower protections of the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s Section 11(c). Shah ruled in the driver’s favor.
“We commend this worker for standing up for their rights after suffering an injury and reporting workplace safety hazards that had the potential to injure other workers,” said OSHA Acting Regional Administrator William Donovan. “Federal whistleblower laws protect workers from retaliation for reporting injuries and unsafe working conditions.”
In addition to payment of lost wages over the workers’ compensation retaliation and neutral future employment recommendations, the court ordered Advanced Disposal Services Solid Waste Midwest LLC to add a copy of the order to the employee’s personnel record and post a notice of whistleblower rights in a common area at its Northbrook facility.
Protecting You from Workers’ Compensation Retaliation
While Illinois employees who sustain injuries related to their employment may be eligible for certain benefits under the law, filing a claim does not automatically guarantee positive results, particularly in the case of employers who engage in workers’ compensation retaliation. To help overcome these obstacles, consider doing what so many other injured employees have done before you and retain the services of the workers’ compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
With over $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements, GWC is one of the premier Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury law firms in Illinois. Our workers’ compensation lawyers have fought on behalf of injured employees in practically every profession. GWC has the experience, the determination, the resources, and the reputation of success you need to get you and your family the justice you deserve.
If you have been injured on the job, contact GWC today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney. You may call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.