The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered a transportation company based in Jacksonville, Florida to reinstate and pay back wages to an employee who was terminated for reporting safety violations and “an on-the-job injury,” according to an October 9 DOL news release.
CSX Transportation Inc. (CSX), a “rail-based freight transportation company,” will pay more than $95,000 in back wages, $75,000 in punitive damages, $27,000 in compensatory damages, and attorney’s fees to the employee who was terminated, according to the news release.
After an investigation, OSHA found that CSX “violated the whistleblower provision of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) when it issued the employee a charge letter and subjected the employee to an investigative hearing that led to the employee’s termination,” according to the news release. OSHA also ordered CSX “to train managers and employees on FRSA’s worker protections. The news release states that CSX can “appeal the order to the Department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges.”
“This order underscores the U.S. Department of Labor’s commitment to protect employees who report workplace hazards and injuries,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer in Atlanta, Georgia.
The OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program “enforces the whistleblower provisions of more than 20 whistleblower statutes” and protects employees who report workplace safety and health concerns and “other related protected activities” from retaliation in a variety of industries, according to the news release.
DOL news release about the order.
OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program webpage.