A North Branford trucking company has been ordered to withdraw a lawsuit against two former employees who blew the whistle on dubious safety practices at the business. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration ordered Palumbo Trucking, and owner David Palumbo, to withdraw a retaliatory lawsuit that the company filed against two former workers.
The two workers, a mechanic and a driver, reported a potentially unsafe truck to the police and the state DMV in 2012. After they were let go from the company, Palumbo alleged the two had maliciously filed the complaint and filed suit against them.
Now OSHA has ruled that the company violated whistleblower protection laws. OSHA said the company must withdraw the suit, and pay the two $60,000 in damages. OSHA officials said that retaliatory lawsuits of this kind can have a chilling effect on workers speaking out about safety concerns that could have serious consequences.