On Aug. 23, 2019, a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania awarded over a million dollars in lost wages and punitive damages to two former employees of Lloyd Industries after a jury found the company and its owner fired them in retaliation for their participation in a 2014 federal safety investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The company fired one of the employees after OSHA began an onsite investigation, and fired the other employee shortly after OSHA issued the Citation and Notification of Penalty, assessing monetary penalties on Lloyd Industries.
Significantly, the court’s award of $500,000 in punitive damages is the largest punitive award under the anti-retaliation provision (Section 11(c)) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). In addition to the punitive damages, the judge awarded the former employees more than $500,000 in front and back pay and prejudgment interest. The judge also required that the employer and its owner post an anti-retaliation notice at the plant and never again violate the OSH Act’s anti-retaliation provision.