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OSHA and Whistleblower Protection

OSHA handles whistleblower complaints filed under several federal agencies. Recently, a New York trucking company was found by OSHA to have violated the anti-discrimination provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, and was ordered to pay more than $45,000 to a wrongfully terminated employee. Brindi Trailer Sales and Services of Miradale, New York, terminated a driver who complained about safety matters. Specifically, in February of 2012, the driver complained about defective equipment on the truck and contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The truck was inspected and 16 safety violations were found. The truck driver notified his employer and he was immediately terminated from employment. The former employee then filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA. OSHA has since ordered the employer to pay the truck driver $32,642.20 in lost wages, $10,000 in punitive damages, and an additional $3,060.02 in attorney fees. The employer was further ordered to expunge the employee’s employment record of any information regarding the termination from employment. For more information, please see the OSHA regional news release found here.

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