According to an article by EHS Today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered the Norfolk Southern Railway Co., a major transportation/hauling company based in Norfolk, Va., to pay over $800,000 in corrective and compensatory damages after the company was found to have terminated at least three workers for reporting work-related injuries.
In one case, a laborer in Greenville, S.C. was hit by a company gang truck and suffered serious injuries. Four other employees were involved in the accident, but as the laborer was the only one injured, only he reported the incident.
The injured laborer was cited for “improper performance of duties” and terminated. OSHA ordered the railway company to pay the laborer $200,000 in punitive damages, $110,852 in compensatory damages and $14,325 for attorney’s fees.
In another case, the Norfolk Southern Railway Co. was forced to pay a total of $207,375 to a Kentucky worker who fell in a locomotive restroom and was subsequently terminated, and $269,616.70 in a third case involving a Pennsylvania railroad conductor. The conductor was injured when he fell down several steps, and was also terminated.
An investigation by OSHA found the railway company to be in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act’s whistleblower provisions. Under these provisions, employers are forbidden to take punitive actions against an employee who reports health or safety concerns in the workplace.
This kind of treatment of employees is unlawful and immoral. No person should have to stand for it. If you have been injured in your workplace, you should be able to report your injuries without fear of retribution. You should also be able to gain compensation for injuries and the wages lost because of them.
Call an attorney at the Law Offices of Gacovino Lake for a free consultation about your case. Contact us today at: 1-800-246-HURT (4878).