Federal appeals courts are becoming more sympathetic to employees who report workplace dangers. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has backed a plaintiff who says he suffered retaliation for claiming he was traumatized by a workplace accident.
Recent case: Anthony, a railroad employee, was responsible for the safety of contracted workers who helped repair rail lines. One day, he witnessed an accident in which a contractor was electrocuted when someone failed to turn off the power at the repair site.
An initial investigation apparently concluded that Anthony wasn’t culpable for the accident, since he was not required to take a drug test. (Federal rules require railroads to administer drug tests whenever there is reasonable suspicion that an employee violated safety rules that caused an injury.)
A day after the investigation ended, Anthony reported to his supervisors that he was greatly distressed by what he saw and wanted psychological help from the railroad’s. Only then was Anthony suspended, for allegedly breaking safety rules.
The lost income while he was suspended damaged his credit score and he wound up losing his home to foreclosure. The Department of Labor—working with OSHA— eventually ordered the railroad to pay Anthony over $500,000 under the Federal Rail Safety Act. The railroad appealed.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals said that once an employee shows he engaged in whistle-blowing by reporting an injury, the employer has to show that it would have taken the same disciplinary action against the employee even if he hadn’t reported the injury. In this case, the railroad had not done so.
The court was especially concerned that it appeared supervisors weren’t worried about anything Anthony might have done wrong until after he reported his own injury. It upheld Anthony’s award. (Araujo v. New Jersey Transit Rail Operations, No. 12-2148, 3rd Cir., 2013)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/35131/appeals-court-upholds-whistle-blowers-award "
- When worried about religious accommodation, keep lines of communication open
- New Jersey Supreme Court expands damages for whistle-blowers
- Trump 'The Donald' with benefits of apprenticeships
- Whistle-Blowers must first pursue claims administratively
- What do we need to do to hire an H-1B immigrant currently working for another employer?