North Canton-based Star Air faces a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) lawsuit that seeks more than $600,000 in fines and reinstatement for two drivers allegedly fired for refusing to drive unsafe vehicles.
The problems started when one of the men was pulled over by a West Virginia state trooper, who cited him for a variety of infractions, including carrying an excess load and operating an overweight trailer. When that driver told a co-worker, they both refused to drive under those conditions. Star Air fired both men.
In December 2011, the DOL concluded that Star Air’s actions violated the whistle-blower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. It ordered the company to reinstate the two men and pay $612,205 in back wages and attorneys’ fees. An additional attorneys’ fee award of $9,839 was later added.
But as of November 2012, the company had made no move to either reinstate the men or pay the back wages and fees, and the department sued to enforce compliance.