Ohio Company Ordered to Reinstate and Pay Whistleblower $275,000


Toledo, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) - Dana Holding Corp. has been ordered by the U.S. Department of Labor to reinstate and pay $274,922.47 in back wages and benefits, compensatory damages and attorney's fees to a financial analyst who was fired from the company's Toledo facility in February 2009.

The order resulted from an investigation by the Chicago office of the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration into alleged violations of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. OSHA was able to substantiate a complaint submitted by the employee, who alleged termination for raising concerns about inaccuracies in the company's customer information assessment system database that could be reflected as inaccuracies in the company's annual financial reports.

"The Sarbanes-Oxley Act provides protection to workers who report alleged violations of federal laws relating to fraud against shareholders," said Nick Walters, OSHA's regional administrator in Chicago. "This case clearly shows the department's commitment to ensuring that individuals are provided the protections and relief afforded by the law, and sends a message that retaliatory actions will not be tolerated."

Specifically, OSHA's order requires the company to pay $47,813.72 in back wages, vacation pay, pension and 401(k) contributions; $108,167.60 in compensatory damages; and $118,941.15 in attorney's fees. In addition to immediate reinstatement, the company must expunge any adverse references related to the discharge in the employee's personnel record, post a notice about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act's whistleblower provisions for all employees and train employees on these provisions.

Dana Holding supplies driveline, sealing and thermal management technologies for passenger, commercial and off-highway vehicles. The company is headquartered in Maumee and employs about 25,500 workers worldwide.

Either party to this case may file objections or request a hearing before the Labor Department's Office of Administrative Law Judges within 30 days.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various securities, trucking, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, rail, workplace safety and health, and consumer product safety laws.

Under the various whistleblower provisions enacted by Congress, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise various protected concerns or provide protected information to the employer or to the government. Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with the secretary of labor for an investigation by OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program. Detailed information on employee whistleblower rights, including fact sheets, is available online at http://www.whistleblowers.gov.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321- OSHA (6742) or the agency's Toledo office at 419-259-7542.

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