Feds: Company must re-hire a driver fired for refusing to drive an overweight truck

The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered a trucking company to reinstate a truck driver who was terminated after refusing to operate an overweight truck.

Wilmington, California-based trucking company JHOS Logistics and Transportation Inc. has been ordered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to re-hire a driver who was terminated for refusing to drive what the employee reasonably believed to be an overweight vehicle.

In addition to reinstating the truck driver, JHOS was also ordered to pay $190,000 in back wages, $25,000 in punitive damages, and $5,000 in compensatory damages and attorney’s fees.

According to a July 15 news release, “OSHA investigators determined JHOS Logistics and Transportation Inc. violated the whistleblower provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) when the company terminated the employee. Two months prior to the termination, the employee received a violation for operating an overweight commercial motor vehicle. The size of the previous load was similar to the size of the current load, which led the employee to reasonably believe the commercial motor vehicle was overweight.”

“This order underscores the U.S. Department of Labor’s commitment to protect employees who report violations under Surface Transportation Assistance Act,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Barbara Goto. “OSHA enforces the legal provisions of the act, which protects employees who exercise their right to report health and safety concerns with commercial motor vehicles.”

Please click here to learn more about employee whistleblower protections under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.