OSHA has sided with a truck driver who was fired after he reported numerous safety defects on his truck and requested a safe vehicle to drive.
Soon after the truck driver began to work for Brindi Trailer Sales in 2011, he reported numerous safety problems with his truck, including faulty brakes, steering problems, non-working turn signals, a cracked windshield, and various leaks.
The company refused to repair the driver’s truck, so he contacted the Pennsylvania DOT, which inspected the truck and found 16 violations. After the truck was placed out of service, the truck driver was fired.
OSHA sided with the truck driver. Brindi was ordered to pay his $32,642 in lost wages, $10,000 in punitive damages, and $3,060.02 in attorney’s fees. Brindi was also ordered to expunge the driver’s employment record.
The truck driver’s name was not released because his case was deemed a whistleblower complaint.
A statement from OSHA encouraged other truck drivers to stand up for safety: “This driver was fired for doing the right thing. A defective truck is a danger not only to its driver but to other motorists on the road. Commercial truck drivers have a legal right to report safety issues to their employer without fear of termination or retaliation. Violating the law can put workers at risk and has costly consequences for the offending employer.”