District Judge William Skretny
Arya claimed Ensil Technical Services fired him in retaliation for an unsafe working conditions complaint to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It also allegedly defamed his character and falsely accused him of incompetence. Arya’s complaint was dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Citing Donovan v. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the court noted that under OSHA, employees do not have a private right of action. Thus any retaliation claim based on Arya’s OSHA complaint could not be sustained. Because he and Ensil are New York citizens, Arya failed to show the court held jurisdiction over any remaining state law claims. Even if Arya stated a claim for defamation under New York law, the allegedly defamatory statements were made in response to his formal retaliation complaint to OSHA and were subject to the absolute privilege attaching to alleged defamatory statements “made prior to, in the institution of, or during the course of, a proceeding.” Also, statements by Ensil’s lawyers in response to the OSHA retaliation complaint relating to the reasons for Arya’s firing fell short of the type of extreme, outrageous conduct needed to support a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.