A “whistleblower” is a worker who reports their employer for safety violations or an on the job injury. Though there should’t be negative connotations or repercussions attached to so called whistleblowing, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) investigates thousands of whistleblower cases each year.
Recently, OSHA levied serious punishments and fines against the Connecticut railroad company, Metro North Commuter Railroad Co. The rail yard, based out of New Haven, Conn., was found to have retaliated against an employee after he reported an on the job injury. OSHA found that the company violated the whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act when they disciplined the employee for reporting his injury.
Marthe Kent is OSHA’s New England regional administrator and she recently spoke about OSHA’s findings.
“Taking repeated disciplinary action against an employee who exercised his legal right to report an on-the-job injury and voiced a complaint about retaliatory treatment by his employer is unconscionable.”
OSHA has ordered the railroad company to both pay the worker $80,500 in damages and attorney fees and to take corrective actions to expunge disciplinary actions and references to the worker from company records.
The workers compensation lawyers at Glass, Lebovitz, Kasheta & Bren hope that workers in Connecticut will continue to come forward when they have been injured or endangered on the job.