A school district in Michigan ran afoul of federal laws protecting whistleblowers when it fired an employee who reported unsafe working conditions. That determination against the Dearborn Heights School District – made last week by OSHA - carries with it a $102,905.78 penalty, for back wages, damages and other compensation.
The case is a multi-layered one. Federal investigators determined that the Michigan school district violated the Clean Air Act. The terminated employee served as a key witness for federal investigators in a 2012 whistleblower complaint from an employee who alleged employee and student exposure to asbestos at the public school. In fall 2016, the employee also reported potential exposure of pesticide at the school to the Michigan Environmental Protection Agency.