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US Suit Defends Safety Whistleblower

Thursday, February 23, 2017

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The U.S. Department of Labor has filed suit against a global chemical company for allegedly firing two employees after they reported safety concerns regarding the handling of hazardous chemicals.

Celanese Corp. and two related companies were accused of terminating Alfredo Ortiz and David Ruiz in July 2016 after they reached out to managers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding safety issues, according to case documents.  

The whistleblower lawsuit was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Feb. 14.

chemical mixing
© iStock.com / MichalLudwiczak

The employees reported concerns regarding safe handling of hazardous chemicals and were terminated thereafter, the suit alleges.

Based in Dallas, Celanese, which provides chemicals and specialty materials to a variety of industries including paints and coatings, employs approximately 7,300 employees worldwide and had 2016 net sales of $5.4 billion.

Both Ortiz and Ruiz were employed at a facility in Bishop, Texas, prior to the alleged discrimination.

Relief Sought

The suit seeks reinstatement or front pay; compensation for costs; and requests that the employer expunge their personnel files of references of the dismissals.

Celanese plans to contest the suit, but it would not comment on the pending litigation, according to spokesman Travis Jacobson.

The suit is one of two whistleblower lawsuits filed under the new administration, Bloomberg reports


Tagged categories: Celanese Corporation; Coating chemistry; Coatings raw materials manufacturers; Construction chemicals; Health and safety; Labor; OSHA; Raw materials; Regulations; Safety; Whistle blowing

Comment from Robert Bullard, (2/23/2017, 11:25 AM)

'Under the new administration'? It will be interesting to see where these suits ultimately go...under the new administration.

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