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.

Monday, August 25, 2014

OSHA settles whistleblower complaint against Gaines Motor Lines Inc.

Complaint filed under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act

Gained contested OSHA charges factually flawed, based on hearsay
HICKORY, N.C. – The U.S. Department of Labor has entered into a settlement agreement with Gaines Motor Lines Inc., as well as individuals Tim Gaines and Rick Tompkins, to resolve findings made by OSHA alleging that four former truck drivers were terminated for participating in an inspection audit, in violation of the whistleblower protection provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

The whistleblower complaint alleged that four employees were terminated for participating in an inspection audit conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that identified log violations at the commercial motor carrier company's facility in Hickory. From Feb. 28 through March 1, 2012, the four employees were interviewed by the FMCSA. On March 8, following the audit and subsequent citations issued against Gaines Motor Lines, the workers suffered adverse retaliation by company officials, including termination, layoffs and removal of employee benefits.

The settlement requires the employer to pay the complainants a total of $262,500, which includes all back pay and interest, and compensatory damages. Additionally, the company will post the OSHA and whistleblower posters in the workplace and provide training regarding STAA protected rights to all workers.

Original fines over a million dollars, Gaines contests charges >> http://www.hickoryrecord.com/news/article_d181fc98-5627-11e3-b215-001a4bcf6878.html

posted by Angelique Sanders
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