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

 

Download our FREE eResource: Specifier's Choice Guide. Get it now.

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
 
Bullard
 
The Next Generation
of Blasting
 
• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable
 

 
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.
 
Enduroguard -
The Tough Cable
for a Tough Industry.
 
Reduce maintenance costs and down time, increase job site safety with Enduroguard Cable. Available exclusively from SAFE Systems. UL listed, flexible, abrasion resistant and cut resistant.
 

 
Novatek Corporation
 
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal
 
Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800
 

 
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
 

 
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.
 

 
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.
 

 
Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
 
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
 
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.
 

 
HoldTight Solutions Inc.
 
NO FLASH RUST - NO CONTAMINANTS
 
Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802 sales@holdtight.com
 

 
DeFelsko Corporation
 
PosiTector SHD Shore Hardness Durometer
 
PosiTector SHD measures the hardness of non-metallic materials. Features a measurement timer, auto ignore mode and internal memory. Shore A or D available.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

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