U.S. Department of Labor launches lawsuit against AT&T - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

U.S. Department of Labor launches lawsuit against AT&T

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The U.S. Department of Labor launches a lawsuit against the parent company of AT&T. The U.S. Department of Labor launches a lawsuit against the parent company of AT&T.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WOIO) -

The U.S. Department of Labor has launched a lawsuit against The Ohio Bell Company, the media giant that operates AT&T.

The phone company is being held accountable for suspending over one dozen employees after they reported work-related injuries.

13 employees are represented in the suit for their injuries that occurred between 2011 and 2013. 

The complaint alleges that in 13 separate incidents the employees were disciplined and given one to three day unpaid suspensions for reporting on-the-job injuries.

The employees represented are from Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Gallipolis, Uhrichsville, Columbus, and Brooklyn Heights. 

The suit alleges the company violated the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

"It is against the law for employers to discipline or suspend employees for reporting injuries," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "AT&T must understand that by discouraging workers from reporting injuries, it increases the likelihood of more workers being injured in the future, and the Labor Department will do everything in its power to prevent this type of retaliation."

The company defended itself by alleging that each employee violated a corporate workplace safety standard; however, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's investigation found that the suspensions were a result of workers reporting their injuries.

The department's Regional Office of the Solicitor in Cleveland is litigating the case.

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