PHILADELPHIA - On Aug. 8, Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania green-lighted a six-figure award for two former employees who were allegedly wrongfully terminated while involved in an Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation.
Spillane and Sanna sued Lloyd Industries, Inc. and William Lloyd for firing them after their participation in an OSHA investigation. The jury agreed with their allegations and ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor for the wrongful termination claims.
Lloyd Industries hired Sanna in July 2008 and Spillane in May 2014. In July 2014, another employee was injured on the job. OSHA came an inspected the plant the following November. Spillane was terminated later that month. Sanna then testified for OSHA in February 2015.
OSHA subsequently gave a citation against the defendants for $822,000 on May 11, 2015. Interestingly enough, Sanna was fired the same day. A jury sided with the plaintiffs, stating that they were fired because they were involved in a “protected activity.”
Now, the court has also detailed awards for the plaintiffs, amid a request from the then-Secretary of the Department of Labor, Alexander Acosta. Goldberg awarded Matthew Spillane $117,710 in back pay damages and Santos Sanna $373,568. Sanna also received $56,121 in front pay damages. Spillane was awarded $100,000 in punitive damages and Sanna $400,000.
Lloyd Industries was also ordered to post a court-approved anti-retaliation notice in a main area for 60 days.