Court Affirms Railroad Company Must Pay $260,000 in Compensatory Damages

A federal appeals court ruled that Pan Am Railways must take corrective action for an employee who suffered retaliation.

A federal appeals court has ruled that Pan Am Railways, Inc. must pay $260,000 in damages to an employee who suffered retaliation after filing a Federal Railroad Safety Act whistleblower complaint.

OSHA investigated the complaint, which involved the company charging the employee with dishonesty after he tried to report an injury. The company was initially ordered to pay the employee $10,000 in compensatory damages and $40,000 in punitive damages.

Pan Am filed an appeal that was later upheld, and the damages were increased to $250,000.

"This case is a strong reminder that our whistleblower laws prohibit reprisals against employees who file whistleblower complaints, report workplace injuries and illnesses, or raise awareness of hazardous safety or security conditions," said Galen Blanton, OSHA's New England regional administrator.

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