Being a good person is enough to get you fired these days. A woman by the name of Michele Butler-Savage was fired from her job at a now-closed beef-jerky plant in Fairmont.
Back in 2014, her co-worker Chris Crane had an accident with a band saw and it severed part of his thumb. Michele, being the considerate person she is, applied pressure to the wound and called 911 from her cellphone.
But before she was able to request for an ambulance, the owner of the plant, John M. Bachman, ordered her to hang up the phone. From there, Bachman collected the severed part of Crane’s thumb and told another co-worker to take him to the urgent care clinic.
And not surprisingly, the doctors at the care clinic told him he needed to take a trip to the emergency room. By the time he arrived at the hospital, doctors were not able to reattach his thumb.
Later in the day, Michele told a U.S. agriculture inspector that Bachman did not properly sanitize the area of the plant where the gruesome accident happened. She also noted that they did not have enough personal protective equipment.
Two days later, Bachman fired her, and the reason was obvious, so she filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. During their investigation, they found the company violated federal whistleblower protections for employees who report violations of the law.
OSHA regional administrator Richard Mendelson released the following statement:
“Lone Star Western Beef punished an employee for seeking emergency medical care for a seriously injured co-worker. No worker should have to fear retaliation from their employer for calling 911 in an emergency, or taking other action to report a workplace safety or health incident.”
Bachman will likely have to pay back wages and punitive damages to Michele.