Springfield Terminal Railway, Inc. was recently ordered by the U.S. Department of Labor to pay $85,000 after it reportedly violated multiple federal whistleblower statutes.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an employee of the railway operator sustained an injury on the job at the company’s Andover, Massachusetts, facility. The next day, the employee was required to attend an investigative hearing. Possible outcomes included termination and other disciplinary actions.
OSHA opened its own investigation after this hearing, which revealed the company violated whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act. As such, the company was ordered to pay $10,000 to the employee in compensatory damages, and another $75,000 in punitive damages and attorney’s fees. It was also ordered to retrain managers and employees on reporting procedures, and remove mentions of the injury and hearing from the employee’s permanent record.
In a statement, OSHA representatives said, “This order underscores the Department’s commitment to protect employees who report injuries, or workplace conditions that could jeopardize employees’ health and safety.”
Whistleblowers have federal protections
It is understandable to be nervous about speaking up about wrongdoing in your workplace. Many people are concerned that they will be subjected to retaliation if they file reports about illegal or otherwise improper acts.
Fortunately, there are numerous whistleblower protections in place to help you avoid permanently losing your job or suffering from other ill effects of reporting your information. To learn more about how you can begin your whistleblower claim and report the information while also protecting your rights, consult an knowledgeable attorney with Kardell Law Group.