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Fired for safety violations - horseplay

by brian
(ohio)

my name..circumvented a warning light on cnc machine by placing black electrical tape around the light completely covering it. he also placed a paper burger king crown over a moving shaft of the bridgeport drill concealing the moving shaft which could have caused harm to another employee. this is what i was fired for but the tape has been on this cnc for close to one year 4 other operaters run this same machine.the moving shaft they say i put the burger king crown on is 6 feet high. they really fired in retaliation to osha and civil rigths claims what do you think can i still get unemployment?




Hi Brian,

It's possible and what I think you should not forget is that if you actually filed a complaint with OSHA and some kind of EEOC complaint that you also have the ability to create a connection to your discharge because of these complaints.

The fact that others also operated the machine makes me think that the employer would need "statements" from others that you were the one that did it.

Not to mention that if the electrical tape had been there for a year it would be difficult for them to maintain that the "harm" wasn't due to their own negligence of their responsibility to keep the workplace safe.

They had a year to deal with it and it only became a problem after you filed a complaint?

I think it's the burger king crown they would need to focus on .. and now .. you need to know what their safety rules were and whether you should have been previously warned about safety violations for this to rise to a level of misconduct or a one time isolated mistake in judgment .. if in fact they can prove you were the culprit.

Being fired due to making official complaints or while on FMLA etc., raise concerns as to the employer's motivation for discharge, but these things can't protect you if in fact you truly are guilty of breaking reasonable rules of the employer that allow for discharge without warning.

You need to show that it was the employer who was unreasonable to discharge you.

It is for this reason that employers are well advised to not enforce their rules arbitrarily for their own convenience. Uniform enforcement of rules and policy is key to winning discharge cases for employers.

Ohio's legal abstract for unemployment (aka precedents)

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