Alleges He Was Sacked for Filing Job Safety Complaints

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- A Dayton, Ohio, man who says he was fired as a driver for the 2002 Olympic Torch Relay team for complaining about safety violations, has filed a complaint with the
Photo: AP
Olympic torch as it arrived in Topeka, Kan., on Jan. 11.
government against his former employer, Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich.

The torch relay, sponsored by Campbell-Ewald client General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet Division, began Dec. 4 on a 250-city tour that ends in Salt Lake City on Friday.

Fired in Wichita
Mark Howick, a driver formerly employed by Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell-Ewald, told AdAge.com he was fired in Wichita, Kan., on Jan. 23 for lodging complaints with superiors and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration concerning safety problems.

Among his allegations, Mr. Howick said drivers worked 20-hour daily shifts and 140-plus-hour weeks.

A spokesman for Campbell-Ewald said Mr. Howick was dismissed for cause from

Photo: AP
Olympic torch as it passed through Wichita, Kan.
his duties as a driver.

"We believe his allegations are groundless, a position we will take to OSHA," he said.

OSHA investigates complaint
Cynthia Lee, a director for OSHA in Lansing, Mich., confirmed the agency is investigating a complaint Mr. Howick filed against Campbell-Ewald in which he alleges he was discriminated against for talking to or filing a complaint with OSHA.

She said he has also claimed violations under the Service Transportation Assistance Act, a whistleblower law which she said covers driving violations.

Ms. Lee declined further comment because the case is under investigation.

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