Former Railway Employee Ordered Reinstated after Facing Whistleblower Retaliation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor ordered Norfolk Southern Railway Corp. to reinstate and pay an employee more than $150,000 in backpay for retaliation for reporting an “on-the-job injury.” OSHA announced the order in a June 12 press release, which states the company must “pay the employee $75,000 in punitive damages, $10,000 in compensatory damages and attorney’s fees.”

After the employee reported their injury, Norfolk Southern Railway Corp. “issued the employee a charge letter, subjected the employee to an investigative hearing, and later terminated the worker.” OSHA investigators found that the company violated the whistleblower protection provision established in the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA). OSHA also ruled that the company will have to “train managers and employees on worker protection rights under the FRSA.”

“This order underscores the U.S. Department of Labor’s commitment to protect employees who report workplace injuries,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer. “The Federal Railroad Safety Act protects employees who exercise their right to report workplace injuries and OSHA enforces those legal provisions.”

Read about OSHA whistleblower protections

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