PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

Advertisement

PaintSquare


Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


RR to Pay $350K for Worker ‘Retaliation’

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

The Union Pacific Railroad has been ordered to reinstate an award-winning 30-year employee who was accused of wrongdoing and summarily fired after he reported an on-the-job injury.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that the Omaha, NE-based railway—the largest railroad in North America—had terminated the employee "in retaliation for reporting a work-related injury."

The employee had been with the railroad for more than 30 years and had twice received its World Class Employee Award. In December 2010, he reported a work-related injury to the company. The railroad soon charged him with misusing his company vehicle and terminated him, according to OSHA.

Union Pacific Railroad
Photos: Union Pacific Railroad

Union Pacific is the largest railroad in North America. Railroads are generating more whistleblower complaints than any other U.S. industry. In many cases, OSHA says, workers allege firing after reporting on-the-job injuries.

"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 agency reported.

Union Pacific disputes the allegations. "We disagree with the agency's findings and plan to appeal the decision," company spokesman Mark Davis said in an email.

$350K Settlement

OSHA ordered the railroad to pay more than $350,000 in back wages with interest, compensatory and punitive damages for violating the Federal Railroad Safety Act.

The railroad carrier was also ordered to remove disciplinary information from the employee's personnel record and to provide whistleblower rights information to its employees. Either party in the case may appeal the decision.

"An employer does not have the right to retaliate against employees who report work-related injuries," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City.

"When workers can't report safety concerns on the job without fear of retaliation, worker safety and health suffer, which costs working families and businesses alike."

Railroad Crackdown

This is the second six-figure settlement that OSHA has announced in one week in defense of railroad workers who were fired after reporting injuries on the job.

Last week, the agency announced a $1.1 million settlement for three workers of Norfolk Southern Railway who were terminated after they were injured on the job.

Union Pacific switchman - WWII

Union Pacific Railroad has its roots in the 1862 Pacific Railroad Act, signed by President Lincoln. The railroad's World War II workers included this switchman.

The stepped-up enforcement follows a memorandum of agreement signed last summer between OSHA and the Federal Railroad Administration. The agreement was aimed at improving interagency cooperation to better enforce the FRSA's whistleblower provisions.

The Federal Railroad Safety Act protects employees who report violations of any federal law, rule or regulation relating to railroad safety or security, or who engage in other protected activities.

OSHA receives more whistleblower complaints from railroad employees than from any of the 20-plus other industries it regulates, including the nuclear, pipeline and maritime sectors. The agency took over whistleblower jurisdiction of the Railroad Safety Act in August 2007. In the next five years, it received more than 1,200 whistleblower complaints under that law.

   

Tagged categories: Enforcement; Federal Railroad Administration; Health and safety; OSHA; Rail; Workers

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
Clemco Industries Corp.
 
Maximum Dust Suppression Systems Start at $14,950
 
The system comprises proven technology and equipment with user-friendly flexibility in mind. See it in action.
 

 
Safway Services
 
Safeguard Assets. Ensure Productivity. HAKI®
 
Protect assets and equipment. Keep facilities open and operational. Maintain schedules regardless of weather. Ensure smooth and continuous production. Easy to erect. Safway is the primary distributor of HAKI® products including HAKISPAN and HAKITEC® 750 – in North America.
 

 
Detail Masters
 
Overspray Removal
 
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.
 

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.
 
SAFE Systems'
Blast Lights &
Deadman Switches
 
Halogen or LED blast lights available with our NEW urethane bumper. Switches available in many colors for color coding your hoses.
 

 
Strategic Materials Inc.
 
Crushed Glass Abrasives
 
TruAbrasives™, a clean crushed glass abrasive superior to other abrasives for performance, health, and environmental benefits.
 

 
Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
 
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement
 
Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!
1(800)-252-7869
 

 
Bullard
 
Upgrade with the Bullard GenVX
 
Click here for your blast helmet.
 

 
US Minerals
 
Hit Harder. Clean Faster.
 
Black Diamond abrasive products are the toughest, most effective blasting media and supply the superior power you need to get any job done.
 

 
Monti Tools, Inc.
 
BRISTLE BLASTER® – THE ORIGINAL ONE
 
  • Abrasive blast with a power tool
  • Remove corrosion, mill scale and coatings
  • Cleans & roughens
  • Meets SSPC-SP 10 / NACE No. 2
  • Profile up to 4.7 mils
  • ATEX Zone 1
  •  

     
    SABRE Autonomous Solutions
     
    Safety
     
    Removing blasting operators from harmful environments is our key objective.
     

     
     
     

    Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

    TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


    The Technology Publishing Network

    Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

     
    EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
    REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
    MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us