Clear Lake company punished for firing driver

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CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A federal agency has ordered a Clear Lake company to rehire a truck driver who had raised safety concerns.

A news release from the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Absolute Waste Removal had to reinstate the driver and pay more than $23,000 in back wages, plus interest. OSHA also ordered the company to pay $50,000 in compensatory and $50,000 in punitive damages and pay attorney fees.

The company didn’t immediately return a call Friday from The Associated Press.

OSHA says the driver was fired on Feb. 27 last year after repeatedly raising safety concerns about new procedures. OSHA says the driver rightfully refused to operate the truck in an unsafe manor.

The company can appeal to the Labor Department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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