NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Labor says companies in Louisiana and South Carolina are settling a lawsuit alleging they illegally fired a crane operator in Texas for making safety and health complaints.
It reported Thursday that the man repeatedly told his employer, MMR Contractors of Baton Rouge, and general contractor Fluor Corp. of Greenville, S.C., that a crane lift was unsafe.
Fluor, according to a news release, told MMR to remove the worker from the Oak Grove Power Plant worksite in Franklin, Texas, and MMR did. It says both claimed he was fired for disruptive behavior.
The companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The labor department said they agreed to pay $17,500 in back wages; purge any mention of his firing from his personnel file and provide neutral employment references. It says they also agreed not to unlawfully retaliate against any worker.
Labor spokesman Juan Rodriguez said the man was an instrument fitter certified for a number of construction jobs, including crane operation. The statement said the Labor Department does not release names of workers in whistleblower complaints.