For the second time, OSHA has ordered Oak Harbor Freight Lines to stop retaliating against truck drivers who are too sick or fatigued to drive.
The ruling came after Oak Harbor suspended a truck driver who had 25 years of experience without pay for refusing to drive while ill out of its Portland terminal. The driver filed a whistleblower complaint, saying that Oak Harbor was in violation of the Surface Transportation Safety Act.
OSHA’s investigation revealed that Oak Harbor had a company attendance policy that encouraged employees to drive even while sick or tired and placed negative notes in their records if they refused to do so. Drivers even faced suspension or termination for failing to comply with the attendance policy. According to OSHA, this is the second case of Oak Harbor retaliating against a driver for refusing to drive while sick.
OSHA ordered Oak Harbor to pay the truck driver $20,000 in punitive damages and required that they remove the negative notes from his file.