OSHA Sides with Truck Driver in Whistleblower Case in New York

A truck driver has received a $45,000 award after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) determined the company that employed him violated a variety of whistleblower laws.

The man began driving for Brindi Trailer Sales and Services of Meridale in 2011. Not long after he started working for the company, the driver told the company his truck was outfitted with some defective equipment, including bad brakes, steering problems, turn signals that did not work, a cracked windshield and various leaks. However, the company reportedly refused to fix the truck, despite the driver’s claims.

In February 2012, the driver reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which agreed to inspect the truck. The inspection revealed 16 safety violations. The driver notified the company’s owner, Robert Urbina Brindi, that the truck was being withdrawn from service until all the repairs were completed — and he was promptly terminated.

Whistleblower action begins

After being fired, the truck driver decided to file a whistleblower complaint with OSHA. Upon investigating the matter, OSHA determined the driver’s claim was valid and ordered Brindi to pay out the award, which covered lost wages, punitive damages and attorney’s fees. Brindi also expunged the driver’s employment record as a part of the court order.

All employees are protected by federal law in the event of retaliation for reporting safety concerns or providing an employer with protected information. To help ensure these issues do not impact your business or organization, consult the trusted Dallas attorneys at Whistleblower Law for Managers.