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Employee Retaliation

Watertown, NY: (Mar-19-08) Daniel Peterson of Redwood brought a lawsuit against United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS), alleging that he was wrongly terminated in retaliation to blowing the whistle about unsafe conditions at the company's Watertown facility. Peterson filed suit in February 2007, alleging that he was fired for complaining about the company's trucks and for taking defective trucks out of service against management's orders.

Peterson was employed as a mechanic for the company, and said that the trucks had cracked and rusted out frames and were unsafe to drive. The suit said that Peterson removed inspection stickers from four trucks in March 2006 that had cracked frames. The company fired him, stating that he falsified company and legal documents. They accused him of poor workmanship in the repairs he made to the vehicles and said that he failed to follow methods and procedures. The suit was filed by the Department of Labor, representing Peterson.

As part of a settlement reached between the parties, UPS agreed to pay $254,000 to resolve the allegations. Additionally, the company agreed to post Occupational Safety and Health Administration Whistleblower fact sheets, and agreed to not prevent whistleblowers from speaking up. Peterson's actions led to an investigation by the state Attorney General's office into whether UPS knowingly kept decrepit and unsafe trucks on the road. Officials stated that that investigation is still ongoing. [WWTI NEWSWATCH: UPS PAYS $254,000 TO FIRED WHISTLEBLOWER]

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Published on Mar-20-08


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