Quick tip for employee retaliation: Answer
In short, no, the employer cannot retaliate. Employees are protected from employer retaliation if they make a reasonable claim to an unsafe condition. It is possible that the employee was unaware that the condition was contained or they saw someone driving the lift after the problem had been identified.
However, if they were to make a verifiably false claim, they could be subject to the following: â€œWhoever knowingly makes any false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, report, plan, or other document filed or required to be maintained pursuant to this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both.â€�
This is not assessed by the employer and is to be handled by OSHA.