ambulanceThe U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service for firing a mail handler who sustained a workplace injury.

OSHA’s Nick Walters called the USPS’ actions regarding the employee at the Sharonville, Ohio facility “retaliation.”

“The Postal Service terminated this employee for working unsafely, despite statements from co-workers and witnesses contradicting that story,” Walters said.

The department's lawsuit alleges that the employee emptied containers onto a conveyor belt for sorting and processing when the door on a container unexpectedly opened and hit the worker's head. A supervisor brought the employee to a hospital for treatment and release. Five days later, the employee was terminated for allegedly working in an unsafe manner.

The lawsuit seeks restoration of lost pay and benefits totaling approximately $9,000, and the removal of disciplinary information from the employee's record. Additionally, the Postal Service would post information on employee whistleblower rights at the distribution facility. The employee did not seek reinstatement.