An employee of CSX Transportation Inc.’s, N.Y. facility reported safety concerns to management. On Sept. 6, 2013, the employee, who was a union official, gave the plant superintendent a letter detailing alleged safety hazards and violations of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA). In the letter, the employee also expressed the union’s intent to withdraw its support of the plant’s safety committee, OSHA said.
On Dec. 18, 2013, management issued the employee a five-day suspension for an alleged safety violation. The employee on March 18, 2014, filed a complaint with OSHA.
OSHA found the company had acted in violation of the FRSA’s anti-retaliation language and ordered the rail carrier to pay punitive damages and attorney's fees to the worker and to take corrective action.
"While CSX subsequently reversed the suspension, it was an adverse action that never should have happened in the first place. This worker was clearly doing his duty, alerting management to employees' safety concerns. The company's retaliation needlessly cost him time, money and distress," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
"As part of our findings, and in an effort to stop future violations, we are ordering CSX to have its Selkirk managers submit to training about the law and the rights it provides to their employees."
More on what OSHA ordered CSX to do on EHS Today.