DOL Sues Texas Dental Observe for Retaliation for Staff – Enterprise Insurance
The U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday that it had filed a lawsuit on behalf of a dental hygienist and a dental assistant against two dentists in northern Texas who were not reinstated after raising concerns about the COVID-19 safety measures if the reopened Practice would apply in spring 2020.
DOL announced in March and April 2020 that Roger Bohannan and David Bohannan, owners of Roger H. Bohannan DDS Inc. in North Richland Hills, Texas, had their employees on leave after the state banned certain dental procedures at the height of the pandemic would have.
During their vacation, the two staff asked what security measures would be taken after patients and staff returned. After the employer received a call to return to work, the employer did not reinstate the hygienist after referring to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Agency, according to DOL.
An OSHA investigation found that Bohannan Dentistry discriminated against employees for exercising their right to question safety protocols as the two employees were not reinstated while all other employees at the practice were reinstated after their vacation ended, according to that DOL.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for Northern Texas, Fort Worth Division, calls on the court to order the employer to pay the complainant damages plus interest on all past and future wages and benefits resulting from the termination numbers; Reimbursement of costs and expenses; Compensation for damages, including compensation for emotional pain and distress and exemplary compensation or punitive compensation in an amount that will be determined in the process.
The dental office did not immediately respond to questions for comment.