Whistleblower Awarded $80K
Following a whistleblower investigation by OSHA, the Metro North Commuter Railroad has been ordered to pay $80,500 in punitive damages and attorney’s fees to a New Haven rail yard worker who reported an on-the-job injury and later voiced a complaint about retaliation. Metro North provides commuter service in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.
The employee faced disciplinary action from Metro North after he filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA in November 2008. The complaint alleged retaliation related to his earlier reporting of a workplace injury. OSHA’s investigation, conducted under the whistleblower provisions in the Federal Railroad Safety Act, found merit to the complaint.
OSHA has also ordered Metro North to expunge disciplinary actions and references about the employee from various records and provide its employees with information about their whistleblower rights and their right to report on-the-job injuries.
OSHA enforces section 11(c) of the OSH Act, which prohibits discharge and retaliation against employees for filing a safety complaint or for exercising a wide range of other rights afforded them under the act. The agency also enforces the whistleblower provisions of 19 other statutes protecting workers who report violations of various trucking, railway, airline nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, securities, public transportation, consumer product, and maritime safety laws.
For more information: www.whistleblowers.gov.
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