Two truckers will be awarded more than $145,000 in back wages and damages after their company disciplined and fired them for refusing to drive while fatigued or sick.
According to a News Release, two employees of Transdev Services Inc. were “issued disciplinary points” after they “reported their inability to operate the vehicles” because “they felt too sick or fatigued to drive safely.” These disciplinary points led to the firing of one of the drivers in question.
“Employees who report workplace safety concerns are protected by federal law against retaliation of any kind,” explained OSHA Regional Administrator James D. Wulff in San Francisco. “In this case, two drivers alerted Transdev Services of their concerns for their safety and that of others and were punished for doing so. This is illegal and employers need to know that they will be held accountable for violating worker’s rights.”
After an investigation into the incident, “OSHA ordered Transdev Services to reinstate the fired employee and remove disciplinary points from the records for their refusals to drive.” Transdev Services has also been ordered “to pay the terminated driver $95,000 in back wages and damages and pay $50,000 in damages to the other worker.”
In addition to the payments, Transdev Services will also be required to “train managers, post a notice informing their employees of workers protection rights under federal law, and revise company policy to comply with the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.”