Bugged Out: Killeen, Texas Newspaper Being Sued By Department of Labor
The Killeen Daily Herald, a newspaper serving the Killeen, Texas area since 1890, is currently facing a lawsuit.
The United States Department of Labor has announced they are suing Frank Mayborn Enterprises Inc., who owns the Daily Herald. The reasoning for the lawsuit is an alleged firing of a employee for reporting a health and safety violation.
The Incident Explained
According to the investigation by OHSA, during the months of May and June of 2021, emails were found from the employee, who at the time of writing remains unidentified, reporting to management the infestation of the insects. The employee then had the bugs identified as biting midges. Following the discovery of the bugs name and reporting to management, management then allegedly fired the worker.
The OSHA Regional Administrator' Official Statement
A spokesperson for OHSA Regional, Eric S. Harbin released this statement regarding the situation:
“Rather than addressing an employee’s concerns about the safety and health of their workplace, the Killeen Daily Herald terminated their reporter who sought to prevent workplace exposure to unknown diseases carried by the insects."
The lawsuit, which was filed on August 29th of 2022, states the department allegedly fired the unnamed employee for engaging in protected activity. The lawsuit is asking the court to order the company to rehire the employee, plus pay them back wages and punitive damages, under anti-federal retaliation provisions.
The suit also asks for an expunging of the employee's record. As this is a developing story, we will have more information as it becomes available.
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