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Region 3 News Release: 08-1023-NEW (osha 08-126)
July 30, 2008
Contact: Alisha Brown
Phone: 215-861-5101

U.S. Department of Labor files whistleblower suit against Freehold, N.J., manufacturing company

FREEHOLD, N.J. -- The U.S. Department of Labor has filed suit against Exclusive Decorators Inc.; Interiors Furniture, LLC; and its vice president, Garrett Ney, on behalf of an employee who was terminated in violation of the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act.

The complaint alleges that the employee was terminated after complaining to the employer about the lack of ventilation in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) previously had cited the employer for ventilation violations. OSHA conducted an inspection of the worksite in response to a complaint about safety and health practices.

The former employee filed a complaint with OSHA alleging retaliation by the defendants in violation of Section 11(c) of the OSH Act. OSHA investigated the complaint and determined it had merit. After being notified of OSHAs findings, the defendants refused to reinstate the employee to the same or a substantially equivalent position of employment, and declined to pay back wages or other employment benefits.

"Every employee should be free to exercise his or her rights under the law without fear of termination or retaliation by their employers," said Robert Kulick, OSHAs regional administrator in New York. "The Labor Department is committed to protecting those rights."

Filed in the U.S. Distri