Now the McDonald’s franchisee has been ordered to pay the former employee $10,000 after it was determined the worker was illegally fired for calling 911 to report a gas leak at the restaurant, Democrat & Chronicle reports.
An investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office found that on April 8, 2013, a part-time worker made multiple attempts to report a gas leak. However, when his supervisors did not address the issue, he called the local fire department.
Upon arrival, authorities determined there was a gas leak and temporarily closed the restaurant. While firefighters were repairing the leak the employee was fired.
Under New York Labor laws, employers are forbidden from retaliating against an employee for reporting to a supervisor or to the authorities when an employer violates a law that posed substantial and specific danger to public healthy and safety. The gas leak was also a violation of provisions of the New York State Fire Code, among other things, the Attorney General’s office reports.
The $10,000 payment represents 18 months of part-time, minimum wages for the employee. In addition to the restitution, the franchisee must create and implement procedures for complaints, and investigation of complaints, regarding health and safety in its restaurants.
“It’s outrageous that an employee would be terminated for contacting the local authorities about a serious safety risk. He should be thanked, not fired,” Attorney General Schneiderman says in a news release.
McDonald’s franchisee fined $10K for firing worker [Democrat & Chronicle]