Companies to Pay Back Wages to Injured Employees Following Investigation

OSHA orders Grand Trunk Western Railway Co. and Union Pacific to pay back wages to five suspended and injured employees

OSHA has ordered Grand Trunk Western Railway Co. and Union Pacific to pay back wages to five suspended and injured employees after an investigation found the companies in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act. According to a press release from OSHA, the companies had suspended and disciplined workers after they reported workplace illnesses or injuries.

According to the press release, OSHA has ordered both companies to pay back wages with interest, punitive damages and attorney’s fees. In addition, the companies will be required to remove disciplinary information from the employees’ personal records and must provide whistleblower rights information to the workers. Grand Trunk will have to pay a total of $85,580 to four workers and Union Pacific will have to pay a brakeman $1,289 in lost wages as well as $10,000 in punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

Nick Walters, OSHA’s regional administrator in Chicago, said:

"When employees are disciplined for reporting workplace injuries, safety concerns or illnesses, worker safety and health are clearly not the company's priority. More than 60 percent of the FRSA complaints filed with OSHA against railroad companies involve an allegation that a railroad worker has been retaliated against for reporting an on-the-job injury. This is unacceptable and a culture that must be changed."

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    September 2020

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