A motor carrier who fired a driver for reporting safety concerns must reinstate the driver and pay $137,341 in back salary and damages. The driver told management a co-worker was driving at excessive speeds and keeping inaccurate driving logs.
OSHA investigators found the company, U.S. Corrections LLC of Melbourne, FL, violated whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act when it fired the driver, who reported safety concerns to management.
The driver reported a co-driver violated several Department of Transportation regulations, including driving in excess of posted speed limits, hours-of-service violations and keeping inaccurate driving logs, according to a Department of Labor news release.
Additionally, the driver told management the co-worker threatened their personal safety.
U.S. Corrections was ordered to reinstate the driver and pay more than $70,000 in back wages, $30,000 in punitive damages, $7,341 in compensatory damages, $30,000 in emotional distress damages and reasonable attorney’s fees.
The company must also train its managers and employees on workers’ rights under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.
The company can appeal the order to the Department of Labor’s Office of Administrative Law Judges.