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Region 3 News Release: 11-840-PHI (osha 11-084)
Aug. 3, 2011
Contact: Leni Fortson      Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5102      215-861-5101
Email: uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov      hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

Philadelphia electric company agrees to pay $150,000 to 3 employees
to resolve US Labor Department's whistleblower investigation

PHILADELPHIA – Hyde Electric Corp. has agreed to pay a total of $150,000 in lost wages and benefits to three employees after the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found the company in violation of the anti-retaliation provision of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The agreement resolves an OSHA investigation resulting from an employee complaint.

The company was contracted by the School District of Philadelphia to replace the fire alarm system at Martin Luther King High School. The employees, through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, filed a complaint with OSHA alleging they had been laid off in retaliation for complaining about an alleged occupational hazard. An investigation by OSHA's Philadelphia Regional Office determined the layoffs were in retaliation of engaging in protected activity under the OSH Act, in violation of Section 11(c).

"Employees should be free to exercise their rights under the law without fear of termination or retaliation by their employers," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Philadelphia. "This action underscores the Labor Department's commitment to vigorously take action to protect those rights."

Hyde Electric also has agreed to post and provide its employees with information on their whistleblower rights under the OSH Act.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions 21 statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial