Susquehanna, PA (WorkersCompensation.com) – A Pennsylvania nuclear energy company admits it docked workers’ bonuses, but denied it was in retaliation for filing an on-the-job injury claims, according to a lawsuit against the company by the US Department of Labor.
The Department of Labor filed the lawsuit in US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in September accusing Susquehanna Nuclear, a subsidiary of Talen Energy, of docking two employees’ bonuses because they filed workers’ compensation claims.
Matthew Mensch was working at the plant when he tried to cross a room in a wheeled chair. The chair tipped, forcing Mensch to use his arm to protect him in the fall. The fall resulted in injuries to Mensch’s shoulder that required medical attention and days off work, the lawsuit said.
Mensch reported the injury to his supervisor, Vilas Shook. Shook then reported the injury to his supervisors, Richard Mogavero and Brian Martonick. An investigation into the incident found that the chair “was easily susceptible to tipping” and “should not have been in use.” However, the company found that Mensch was in error when the accident happened.
The injury resulted in the plant’s reset of a “days without injury” clock.
When Mensch and Shook received their annual reviews, the company docked Mensch’s annual bonus by nearly $4,300 and Shook’s annual bonus by more than $6,100, citing the site-wide clock reset.
Shook filed a complaint with OSHA, who investigated the complaint and found that Susquehanna had retaliated against the two men and that employees were hesitant to report injuries.
In its response, the company agreed that it did dock the two men’s bonuses, but denied that it was in retaliation.
Todd Martin, manager of media relations at Talen Energy, said the company had no comment.
“Talen Energy does not comment on pending litigation,” he said in an email interview with WorkersCompensation.com.
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