OSHA has found Bond Laboratories Inc., and former CEO Scott Landow, in violation of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for improperly firing an employee. The company and Landow have been ordered to re-hire the employee and pay approximately $500,000 in back wages, interest and compensatory damages. The findings follow an investigation by OSHA's San Francisco Regional Office, which was initiated after receiving a complaint from the employee. Landow and Bond Laboratories, formerly based in Solana Beach, allegedly terminated the complainant, an officer, for objecting to the manipulation of sales figures, so s to result in a misrepresentation of the company's value to potential investors. OSHA determined that the complainant repeatedly objected to this practice, between March and October 2008, and that the objections contributed to the decision to terminate the complainant. The complainant, Bond Laboratories, and Landow can appeal the monetary damages to the Labor Department's Office of Administrative Law Judges within 30 days of receiving the findings. Bond Laboratories, now based in Omaha, Neb., manufactures nutritional supplement beverages and related products for public consumption.
"This corporate officer tried to do the right thing when asked to break the law," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "It is essential that America's workers do not have to fear retaliation when reporting wrongdoing. The Labor Department will continue to protect whistleblowers from retaliation by holding corporations, and when appropriate, CEOs, accountable."
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