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DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

OSHA Orders Union Pacific Railroad To Pay Whistleblower $350,000

Nate Beal Photo
OSHA has ordered the Union Pacific Railroad Co. to immediately reinstate an employee who was terminated in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act for reporting a work-related injury. The company will pay more than $350,000 in back wages with interest, compensatory and punitive damages.

An OSHA investigation upheld the employee's allegation that the railroad terminated his employment in retaliation for reporting a work-related injury. The employee had more than 30 years of service when he was dismissed from the railroad and twice had received the railroad's World Class Employee Award. It was not until after the employee reported his work-related injury in December 2010 that the railroad charged him with misusing his company vehicle. OSHA's investigation found that this charge was used as a pretext to retaliate against the employee for reporting his injury, and that the employee's explanations as to his use of the company vehicle were reasonable and consistent with his job duties.

The railroad carrier was ordered to remove disciplinary information from the employee's personnel record and to provide whistle-blower rights information to its employees. Either party in the case can file an appeal with the department's Office of Administrative Law Judges.

On July 16, 2012, OSHA became part of memorandum of agreement to facilitate coordination and cooperation for enforcing the FRSA's whistle-blower provisions. Currently more than 60 percent of the FRSA complaints filed with OSHA involve an allegation that a railroad worker has been retaliated against for reporting an on-the-job injury.

Related past posts:
Railroads Lose More Whistleblower Cases
OSHA Finds Railroad Violated Whistleblower Provisions
Employee's Hard Hat Hits Beam, $300,000 Awarded

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