MAYFIELD, Ky. (AP) — Former workers at a Kentucky candle factory struck by a tornado last year are alleging that the company retaliated against them for cooperating with federal safety inspectors.

An attorney said Friday that he has filed a charge on behalf of 20 workers with the National Labor Relations Board that accuses Mayfield Consumer Products of unfair labor practices.

The filing alleges the company is “denying, abridging, and/or obstructing workers’ compensation benefits” because the workers participated in an Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation, according to a media release from Amos Jones, a Washington attorney representing some former workers.

The company was fined $40,000 by OSHA for violations of federal labor law.

Jones filed a class-action lawsuit against the company in December. Jones said some former workers have also been contacted by a collection agency for medical bills the company and its insurer have not paid.

Six employees were killed as the Dec. 10 tornado struck the building. The storms killed 81 people across the state.


An attorney for the company did not respond Friday night to a request for comment.