What Happens When You Lie to OSHA?
You’re on a job site when a worker is injured. Your supervisor realizes that some safety violations resulted in the fall, but tells you not to put that in your report. After all, it doesn’t hurt you, but he may get fired over it. What do you do?
Lying to OSHA has big consequences. Take the 2013 case of Marcus Borden in Birmingham, Alabama. He was supervising a roofing crew when a severe storm rolled in. The roofers did not have fall protection, tie-offs, or a means of quick exit from the roof, and five of them fell and sustained serious injury. Borden told OSHA inspectors that he had purchased fall protection equipment just a few days earlier, and that the employees had been tied off.
The OSHA investigation revealed otherwise, and Borden was hit with six violations totaling $55,000 in penalties. In addition, Borden was the center of a Department of Justice investigation that resulted a guilty plea for making false statements and a sentence of 3 to 6 years of probation and 30 hours of community service.
If you or an employer finds yourself at the center of a federal investigation, and you don’t have any experience dealing with investigators, you need to contact a legal representative. Don’t ever lie to a federal investigator from any agency, whether it’s OSHA, the EEOE, DOL, IRS or the FBI. Just because they don’t look like a law enforcement officer doesn’t mean that they aren’t-and making false statements to a federal agent carries serious penalties.
If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.
Our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment