This week, it was announced that a jury and judge had ordered Champagne Demolition LLC and its owner, Joseph A. Champagne, to pay more than $173,000 to a former employee. The former employee of the Albany-based asbestos abatement and demolition company was fired in June of 2010 after reporting improper asbestos removal practices at a school in Gloversville, New York. The judgment agreed with a United States Department of Labor lawsuit that concluded Champagne Demolition had violated the employee’s whistleblower rights.
The company has been ordered to pay the former employee $103,000 in back wages, $20,000 in compensatory and $50,000 in punitive damages. On June 10, 2010, the employee informed the company’s management of improper practices. The employee was terminated the following day and was subjected to verbal threats and legal action. A complaint was ultimately filed with OSHA, which opened a whistleblower investigation and found merit to the allegations.
Champagne Demolition and its owner, Joseph A. Champagne, have been ordered to pay the former employee $173,793.84 in total. Additional details can be found here.