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Deere Settles Whistleblower Suit

John Deere has settled a "whistleblower" lawsuit. Thursday the US Department of Labor announced the company has agreed to pay back wages and damages to a former employee in the Quad Cities who claimed he was fired after reporting unsafe working conditions.

In its settlement with OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Deere does not admit any wrongdoing. But it will pay the pipefitter 111,000 dollars in back wages, 93,000 dollars in "front pay" - what he would have earned if he'd been re-instated, plus 70,000 more in damages.

The dispute began in 2012 - the pipefitter was fired after he reported unsafe conditions and then filed a complaint with OSHA when the agency says the company did not correct them. 

A spokesman for the agency says the pipefitter should be commended for his willingness "to risk his job to ensure workplace safety for himself, and his co-workers."

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.