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Showing 3 posts in Workplace Conditions (Occupational Safety and Health).

Two Federal Agencies Battle In Federal Court Over Whistleblower Treatment

Talk about your inter-family disputes: one federal agency – the Department of Labor – has filed suit against the United States Postal Service, an independent federal agency (but one of the few explicitly authorized by the Constitution).  The reason for the federal lawsuit, filed in Missouri: the Postal Service’s alleged poor treatment, firing, and alleged harassment of an employee who claims he blew the whistle on safety hazards in a mail facility. 

Here’s the background, delivered despite any contrary weather: Thomas Purviance worked for the Postal Service for 35 years, most recently as a maintenance supervisor at a mail distribution center near St. Louis.  He had no record of disciplinary or performance issues.  In late December 2009, Purviance complained to his supervisors about what he perceived to be carbon monoxide and fuel oil leaks from some of the equipment at the center, as well as a pile of oil-soaked rags which he thought was a safety hazard.  Getting no response, Purviance eventually called the local fire marshal and made a 911 call to report the carbon monoxide leak.   Read More ›

Cratchit v. Scrooge - Further Holiday Adventures in Employment Law

Cratchit v. ScroogeYesterday, we had good news for Bob Cratchit:  he has a right under the FLSA to more compensation than Scrooge pays him, and could take legal action to protect that right.  But what about the other unfairness and indignities that Bob suffers as Scrooge’s employee – such as the cold office and Bob’s inability to secure Tiny Tim proper medical care?  Would any federal laws protect him?  That’s the subject of today’s post, and the news is not good for Bob. Read More ›

Cratchit v. Scrooge - Holiday Adventures in Employment Law

Cratchit v. ScroogeBob Cratchit’s boss, Ebenezer Scrooge, is an “odious, stingy, hard, unfeeling man.”  Or, at least that’s what Mrs. Cratchit says of him after feeding her family of eight, including her crippled son, Tiny Tim, a too-small pudding for dessert on Christmas.  Readers of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol could easily reach the same conclusion.   Bob, a clerk in Scrooge’s business (which some suggest is what we would call a stock brokerage today), is paid a mere 15 shillings weekly to work six days a week in an office that Scrooge refuses to adequately heat.  That seems bad.  But, today, in say, New London, somewhere in the U.S.A., would it be illegal?  For these final days of the holiday season, we explore possible causes of action in Cratchit v. Scrooge.  (We are not the only lawyers with these types of holiday musings.) Read More ›