Former Wayne County McDonald's employee receives $10,000 settlement

Created: 06/18/2014 11:09 AM WHEC.com

An employee at a McDonald’s in Wayne County, who was fired for reporting a gas leak, has been awarded $10,000 in restitution.

On Wednesday, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement with Warrenone Inc. – a company that operates four McDonald’s restaurants in Monroe and Wayne Counties.

Officials tell News10NBC on April 8, 2013, a part-time employee made multiple attempts to report a gas leak and when his supervisors did not address the situation, he reported the leak to the Lyons Fire Department. We are told firefighters did in fact find a gas leak and closed the restaurant for the night. According to the Attorney General’s office, while firefighters were on the scene, the two supervisors on duty told the employee he was fired.

Schneiderman says Section 740 of the New York State Labor Law states that employers can not retaliate against an employee for reporting when an employer violates a law that causes a substantial and specific danger to public health and/or safety. "It's outrageous that an employee would be terminated for contacting the local authorities about a serious safety risk. He should be thanked, not fired," said Schneiderman. "Workers who try to protect the public and their fellow employees deserve protection, and the state should have their back."

As a result of the settlement, Warrenone was ordered to pay the employee $10,000. In addition to restitution, the company will have to create and implement procedures for complaints and investigation of complaints as it pertains to health and safety in its restaurants.

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