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DOL: Employer helped ICE arrest worker in retaliation for reporting injury

March 14, 2019 / Lisa Burden

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has sued a Massachusetts-based construction company and its CEO, alleging they unlawfully retaliated against an employee who engaged in protected activity under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), causing the worker's arrest by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) (R. Alexander Acosta, Sec. of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor v. Tara Construction, Inc. and Pedro Pirez, No. 19-cv-10369 (D. Mass. Feb. 27, 2019)). The worker, José Martin Paz Flores, broke his leg when he fell from a ladder at work, the complaint said. He reported the injury to his employer, which is protected activity under the OSH Act. The CEO allegedly retaliated by contacting the police after confusion over Flores' first name at the hospital. This call triggered an ICE/Boston Police Department task force investigation and the CEO also later allegedly facilitated Flores' arrest, texting a detective to inform him when Flores would come i...