OSHA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Sign Agreement

The agreement strengthens protections for workers from coercion, retaliation

OSHA and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen the coordination and cooperation between the agencies regarding the anti-retaliation provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. The memorandum allows for the exchange of safety, coercion and retaliation allegations, when received by one agency, that fall under the authority of the other.

The STAA protects drivers and other individuals working for commercial motor carriers from retaliation for reporting or engaging in activities related to certain commercial motor vehicle safety, health or security conditions.

Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, said, “Commercial vehicle drivers who report injuries, hazards and illegal work practices should not fear retaliation for speaking out about unsafe work conditions. Through this agreement, we are sending a clear message that silencing workers who try to do the right thing is unacceptable for workers and also unsafe for the public.

Dr. Michaels went on to say that the partnership extends the inter-agency collaboration specifically to include the sharing of reports of alleged coercion, such as companies forcing or intimidating truck or bus drivers to violate federal safety regulations. Pressuring drivers to stay behind the wheel beyond their hours-of-service limits seriously jeopardizes the safety of every traveler on highways and roads.

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