February 5, 2020

Federal Court Orders Railway to Pay $696,173 for Lost Wages After
U.S. Department of Labor Finds Railway Retaliated Against Whistleblower

DENVER, CO — The U.S. District Court for its District of Colorado has arranged Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) to cover $696,173 in missing future and back salary to a former worker who reported track flaws, bringing the sum paid into the whistleblower to greater than $1. 74 million.

Previously, that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) ascertained that the company violated the whistleblower protection provisions of this Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) as it retaliated against the former worker in Denver, Colorado. OSHA issued a preliminary arrangement with the right relief offered by the statute, that has been sentenced to the U.S. District Court for its District of Colorado.

On February 19, 2019, a jury at the U.S. District Court for its District of Colorado ordered BNSF to pay the worker $800,000 in psychological distress, along with also an additional $250,000 in punitive damages.

“Railroad employers and owners must comply with the Federal Railway Safety Act, enacted to protect railroad workers who report hazardous safety or security conditions,” stated OSHA Acting Regional Administrator Rita Lucero, at Denver, Colorado.

OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program enforces the whistleblower provisions of more than 20 whistleblower statutes. These statutes protect workers from retaliation for reporting violations of different office safety and health, airline, commercial motor company, customer merchandise, environmental, fiscal reform, food security, health insurance reform, automobile security, nuclear, pipeline, public transport service, railroad, marine and securities legislation; and also for participating in other related guarded actions. For more info on whistleblower protections, see OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Programs webpage.

Under that the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, companies are accountable for providing safe and healthy na offices for their workers. OSHA’s role is to help make sure such requirements for America’s functioning women and men by establishing and implementing standards, and providing instruction, instruction, and help. For more info, see https://www.osha.gov.

The assignment of the Department of Labor is to cultivate, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and acquaintances of those United States; enhance working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and also guarantee work-related advantages and rights.

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Media Contacts:

Chauntra Rideaux, 972-850-4710, [email protected]
Juan J. Rodríguez, 972-850-4709, [email protected]

Release Number: 20-155-DAL


U.S. Department of all Labor information substances are available at http://www.dol.gov. The Department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental data and documents into other formats, including Braille and big print. For option format requests, please get the Department in (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (national relay).

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Jeff Thornton