The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered a roofing and building company to pay two truck drivers tens of thousands of dollars after they were fired for refusing to drive vehicles with poorly maintained tires.
On March 1, OSHA announced that Gulfeagle Supply must reinstate two terminated truck drivers at their Oklahoma City location and pay each driver more than $23,000 in back wages in addition to paying out $70,000 in punitive damages.
According to OSHA, the two truck drivers told a manager that the tires on a company truck were unsafe. Then, “concerned about their own safety and that of others on the road, the two drivers refused to operate vehicles with unsafe tires,” and both drivers were fired in August 2020.
OSHA found that Gulfeagle Supply’s actions were in violation of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA).
In addition to the payouts and reinstating the fired drivers, OSHA has also ordered Gulfeagle Supply to train managers and employees on workers’ rights under the STAA.
“Federal law helps make our roads safer by empowering truck drivers to refuse to drive trucks not properly maintained,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Eric Harbin in Dallas. “OSHA is committed to protecting workers who do what’s right when it comes to their safety and that of others.”
Gulfeagle Supply is headquartered in Tampa and operates 80 locations nationwide.