Blown Away

Blown Away Hair Salon in Kennett Square was ordered to pay $40,000 to a former employee, whose husband reported unsafe working practices to the federal government.

KENNETT SQUARE—Federal authorities have ordered a Kennett Square hair salon to pay $40,000 after owners of the business fired an employee because her husband reported alleged workplace health and safety hazards to the government.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Monday entered a consent judgment ordering Blown Away Dry Bar and Salon on State Street to pay a $40,000 settlement in a whistleblower action.

The legal action resolves a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor filed early in 2018.

OSHA investigators determined Jennifer and Rand Singer, owners of the hair salon, retaliated against the employee when her husband reported workplace safety and health hazards to OSHA, a violation of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act.

“Employees have the right to report workplace safety or health hazards without fear of retaliation from their employer,” said Philadelphia Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson. “This settlement goes a long way in making this employee whole after she was fired for engaging in an activity that is protected by law.”

In addition to the settlement, the judgment prohibits the defendants from offering any information about the complainant’s work history beyond the dates of employment, the position she held, and the last salary or hourly wage while employed by the defendants. It also requires the defendants to prominently display the “Job Safety and Health, It’s the Law” poster for 60 days and permanently enjoins the defendants from violating Section 11(c) provisions of the OSH Act.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of 22 statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, motor vehicle safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, and securities laws.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for American working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

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