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Bridgestone’s GCR Settles MSHA Whistleblower Complaint

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration reached a settlement with Bridgestone Americas’ GCR Tire Centers on a wrongful termination claim.

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The MSHA complaint concerned the termination of an OTR tire technician who had complained about unsafe work practices at the Notasulga Quarry in Lee County, Ala.

The agreement, said MSHA, resolves a formal discrimination complaint that it filed in court on behalf of the employee, after the agency’s investigation determined that the company fired the employee in retaliation for reporting safety concerns.

"Federal law and safe mining practices require that employees be free to file a complaint without fear of retaliation when they see unsafe working conditions," said Joseph Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "This settlement reaffirms those principles."

The settlement requires the company to pay an undisclosed amount in compensation to the employee and provide training within 120 days of the approval of the settlement to GCR employees on the applicable sections of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

GCR agreed not to retaliate against the employee and will not disclose information related to this action to any prospective employer. The company also will delete all references to the circumstances involved in this matter from the worker’s employment records and provide a neutral job reference.

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