People who work in dangerous jobs are especially careful about their safety. Texas workers who see something that is unsafe would be remiss not to report the condition to their supervisors. In most cases, reporting such a situation would be rewarded for promoting safety, but when companies want to cut corners and costs, the problem may be quieted by issuing a wrongful discharge to the reporting employees.
A man who worked for a coal mining company as an electrician in another state claims that he lost his job after reporting unsafe materials. Prior to his termination, he asserts that he had a good record with the company and did his job well. During his tenure, when he noticed safety and health issues that he thought was reasonably harmful or in violation of safety regulations, he would not perform his job duties.
On one occasion, he was asked to replace the cable on a damaged shuttle car, but out of concern for safety, he refused to splice together a section of the cable. He believed that by refusing, he was keeping everyone safe because the section of the cable appeared to be damaged and not safety compliant. The plaintiff claims that his foreman told him to splice the cable anyway, and because he feared losing his job, the plaintiff did as instructed.
After he spliced the cable, the plaintiff tested it and believed that although it was not safety compliant, it would not likely place any of his co-workers in danger. However, the fix was only temporary, and the plaintiff was not able to complete his job and was fired for insubordination. Texas employees should never be forced to choose between their safety and losing their jobs. Those who believe that they have lost their jobs unjustly may choose to move forward by filing wrongful discharge claims against their employers. In successfully navigated cases, the claimants may be awarded lost income, monetary damages and the possibility of reinstatement.
Source: wvrecord.com, “Man sues mining company for wrongful termination“, Kyla Asbury, May 12, 2015