OSHA Settles Whistleblower Complaint Against Gaines Motor Lines Inc.

A complaint was filed under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

According to an agency news release, OSHA has entered into a settlement agreement with Gaines Motor Lines Inc., as well as individuals Tim Gaines and Rick Tompkins, to resolve findings made by the agency that four former truck drivers were terminated for participating in an inspection audit, in violation of the whistleblower protection provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

"OSHA will continue to ensure that the whistleblower provisions of the STAA are properly and thoroughly enforced, while keeping open the opportunity for settlement negotiations," said Kurt A. Petermeyer, OSHA's regional administrator in Atlanta. "In this case, we are pleased to enter into a settlement agreement that solidifies this commitment."

The complaint said that four employees were terminated for participating in an inspection audit conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that identified log violations at the commercial motor carrier company's facility in Hickory, N.C. The settlement requires the employer to pay the complainants a total of $262,500, which includes all back pay and interest, and compensatory damages.

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