Whistleblower

Railroad workers are now entitled to file a lawsuit to stop railroad harassment.  Just recently, in 2007, federal law changed to protect railroad workers from harassment by their employer railroads.  Specific whistleblower protections for railroad workers (Federal Rail Safety Act (FRSA), 49 U.S.C. § 20109) state that a railroad may not discharge, demote, suspend, reprimand, or in any other way discriminate or discipline a railroad worker who engages in certain protected activities.
 
These protected activities include:
 
  • Refusing to violate a safety law or rule.
  • Filing a complaint regarding a safety violation.
  • Reporting a personal injury.
  • Furnishing information to the FRA or National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regarding an injury.
  • Reporting an unsafe working condition.
  • Filing a complaint under the FRSA.
  • Refusing to work when faced with an unsafe condition.
  • Providing information assisting in an investigation regarding a violation of a safety law or rule regarding railroad safety issues.
 
The available remedies under this law include the following:
 
  • Back pay with interest.
  • Reinstatement with seniority rights unimpaired.
  • Attorneys fees and court costs.
  • Punitive damages not to exceed $250,000.
 
An employee who alleges discipline or discrimination in violation of this law must file a complaint with the Department of Labor within 180 days of the harassment or discrimination.
 
It is important to call an experienced FELA/FRSA attorney as soon as you experience harassment at the railroad because the time limit to file a claim is extremely short.  Give the experienced attorneys at Davis, Saunders, Miller & Oden a call for a free consultation of your rights under the FRSA.
Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA)
OSHA Fact Sheet

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