Today's News / Compliance / Transportation Safety

Whistleblowing truck driver must be hired back, says OSHA

April 22, 2012
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

truckA truck driver who was fired after raising concerns about defects in the vehicle he was required to drive must be reinstated, according to OSHA. The agency found reasonable cause that the termination by Newark-based Jersey Window Factory & Building Supply Inc. violated the whistleblower provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

The employee raised concerns verbally and in a letter about vehicle defects, including broken sideview mirrors, a driver's door that couldn't be opened properly, a broken window handle and a deficient steering mechanism. After submitting a second letter, which outlined further safety concerns and questioned whether the company's safety practices were in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, the employee's hours were reduced. The employee subsequently filed an OSHA safety complaint and was terminated on July 2, 2008.

OSHA has ordered the company to pay the former worker back wages and bonuses that cover the period from July 2008 until a bona fide offer of reinstatement is made. The company also has been ordered to pay $18,000 in compensatory damages.

"Workers have the right to voice safety concerns without fear of retaliation or termination," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "Employers found in violation of whistleblower protection provisions will be held accountable."

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the STAA and 20 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime and securities laws.

Under the various whistleblower provisions enacted by Congress, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise various protected concerns or provide protected information to the employer or the government. Detailed information on employer whistleblower rights, including fact sheets, is available online at www.whistleblowers.gov.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASSE Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

9/9/14 2:00 pm EDT

Welding: It doesn't have to be a grind. The latest in respiratory protection and PPE for welders and grinder

Attendees of this webinar will gain knowledge of hazards and appropriate PPE for welding applications, regulatory drivers that are changing the landscape of PPE within welding applications and the latest product technologies being offered in welding PPE.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN_0814cov.jpg

2014 August

Check out ISHN's August issue which features content about pain prevention, forklift operation safety and a preview of the National Safety Congress and Expo.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - May 2014

ISHN0514FDO_cover.jpgFor Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THEMAY 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.