The owners of a beauty salon in suburban Philadelphia were ordered by a federal judge Tuesday to pay $40,000 to an employee they fired after her husband complained to state authorities about nauseating conditions in the salon.

Until March 30, 2017, Kaleigh Szulkowski worked at Blown Away Dry Bar and Salon in Kennett Square — owned by Jennifer and Rand Singer — as a hair colorist and stylist. The Singers were on vacation on Mar. 23, 2017, when a salon toilet backed up and spewed waste water and used toilet paper over the floor.

According to the complaint, Jennifer Singer would not allow employees to close the salon for a clean up. The place reeked of human waste. According to the Department of Labor, the owners ignored employee complaints. The next day, a cleaning crew tracked sewage through the business causing gagging, nausea and headaches among the employees.

Szulkowski’s husband, Tony Kong, called the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The complaint states an employee told the Singers about the OSHA report. The Singers demanded to know who had called OSHA, and, once they had confirmed it had been Szulkowski’s husband, fired the stylist.

OSHA investigated Szulkowski’s complaint and found she had been terminated in retaliation.

“Employees have the right to report workplace safety or health hazards without fear of retaliation from their employer,” said Richard Mendelson, OSHA’s Philadelphia regional manager. “This settlement goes a long way in making this employee whole after she was fired for engaging in an activity that is protected by law.”