BNSF Railway Co., a company based in Forth Worth, Texas, was ordered by federal labor officials to pay $290,000 in damages and back pay to settle a whistleblower claim. The company was also ordered to reinstate the employee who blew the whistle on the company’s violation of employee rights.
According to representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor, the company accused the whistleblowing employee of violating doctor’s orders against physical activity after a work-related injury. At a hearing that followed, the employee produced documents proving the doctor allowed the physical activity in question.
Despite this evidence, the company still chose to fire the employee in violation of his rights.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the case and determined BNSF acted in violation of federal law. It ordered the railway to reinstate the employee to his position, pay back wages and attorney’s fees and to pay out compensatory damages. In addition, BNSF had to pay $150,000 in punitive damages for its actions.
BNSF is a 170-year old company that operates approximately 400 railroad lines. It is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
If you feel you have been the victim of wrongful termination or retaliation for blowing the whistle on an employee’s wrongdoing, it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to learn how you can exercise and protect your rights as an employee. Contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group to learn about the next steps you should take with your case.