The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration sided with a truck driver who was fired for refusing to violate HOS regulations, helping him to win his job back and awarding him hundreds of thousands in back pay.
Driver Did Not Believe He Could Deliver Load Without Violating HOS Regulations
The incident took place in August 2012. According to the suit, NFI Interactive Logistics Inc. assigned a trucker a load of Poland Springs bottled water to take from Northborough to New Jersey. Because of flooding, storms, and crashes on his route, the truck driver did not believe that he could deliver the load in time without violating HOS regulations.
The truck driver made arrangements with the customer to drop off the bottled water at a closer facility in Kearny, New Jersey, and to have another company driver complete the run. NFI reportedly approved of this arrangement.
Trucker Fired For Refusing To Drive Unsafely
The next day, the trucker was fired for insubordination.
The driver filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA and finally won. OSHA ordered NFI to rehire the driver and to pay him $276,000 in back pay, damages, and legal fees.
Said one OSHA spokesperson: “The law is clear: Drivers have the right to raise legitimate safety concerns to their employer – including refusing to violate safety regulations – without fear of termination or other retaliation.”