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Former Maintenance Worker Fired Over Asbestos Discovery

A former maintenance worker for Tandem Property Management in Portland, Oregon, has been fired amidst his discovery of asbestos in one of the apartment complexes.

Jason Eaton reported that he was fired a few months after discovering asbestos during renovations at The Commons at Sylvan Heights complex. He directed an employee to collect a sample of what he believed to be asbestos for testing; the test came back positive, confirming his suspicions.

After Eaton participated in Oregon's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) asbestos investigation of the complex, he received two false write-ups about his work performance from his superiors. Eaton said before discovering asbestos on the property, he was promoted twice and received multiple awards for exemplary work.

Another former employee, Haley Neilson, confirmed Eaton's treatment. She recounts in her statement that Tandem's Vice President of Operations bullied and threatened Eaton after the OSHA investigation took place.

After Neilson spoke with an OSHA officer who confirmed the apartment complex contained asbestos, she discovered that the property managers had been notified several weeks prior of the danger. An OSHA employee told her all staff and residents should have been notified, but were not.

Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality is currently investigating Tandem Property Management amid the discovery of asbestos. They have requested from Tandem proof of a mandatory asbestos survey that should have been completed before construction began. To date, they have not produced the evidence.

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