Two employees of Transdev Services, Inc., a San Jose trucking company, will receive over $145,000 in back wages and damages after an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation found that the company retaliated against them for voicing their inability to drive due to sickness or fatigue.
According to the DOL news release, the two employees “reported their inability to operate the vehicles” when “they felt too sick or fatigued to drive safely.” The OSHA investigation found that Transdev Services “issued disciplinary points to the two drivers,” an action that led one of the workers to be terminated. Transdev Services’ “actions violated the Surface Transportation Assistance Act’s whistleblower provisions,” the news release reports.
“OSHA ordered Transdev Services to reinstate the fired employee and remove disciplinary points from the records for their refusals to drive,” the release states. Transdev Services was also ordered “to pay the terminated driver $95,000 in back wages and damages and pay $50,000 in damages to the other worker.”
Transdev Services must also “train managers, post a notice informing their employees of workers protection rights under federal law, and revise company policy to comply with the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.” The company can appeal OSHA’s order to the DOL’s Office of Administrative Law Judges.
“Employees who report workplace safety concerns are protected by federal law against retaliation of any kind,” explained OSHA Regional Administrator James D. Wulff in San Francisco. “In this case, two drivers alerted Transdev Services of their concerns for their safety and that of others and were punished for doing so. This is illegal and employers need to know that they will be held accountable for violating worker’s rights.”
OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program enforces 25 whistleblower statutes, including the Surface Transportation Assistance Act’s whistleblower provisions.