• Railroad Ordered to Reinstate and Pay Worker $244,000 After Alleged Termination for Failure to Perform Required Inspection Because of Hazardous Safety Conditions
  • May 21, 2014
  • Law Firm: Sutherland Asbill Brennan LLP - Washington Office
  • Following an inspection, OSHA has ordered a railroad to reinstate a conductor and pay him more than $244,000 in back wages and damages following his termination for allegedly failing to perform an inspection of a passing train under hazardous safety conditions. The damage award includes $100,000 in punitive damages in addition to reasonable attorneys’ fees. The conductor allegedly felt that it was unsafe to perform a required roll-by train inspection in dark, foggy conditions while the train was stopped on a bridge with a steep incline down to a river. The railroad contended he was terminated for violating the company’s policy to inspect passing trains when duties and terrain permit but OSHA determined the termination allegedly resulted from the conductor’s engaging in protected conduct under the Federal Railroad Safety Act. It is not yet known whether the alleged charges will be appealed for a hearing before an ALJ.