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Region 2 News Release: 110-662-NEW/BOS 2010-217
May 20, 2010
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074
E-mail: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA finds CSX Transportation Inc. retaliated against
veteran New York dispatcher who reported safety concerns
Rail carrier ordered to rescind discipline and pay worker $5,000 in punitive damages

NEW YORK - A whistleblower investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found that CSX Transportation Inc. retaliated against a veteran employee in its Selkirk, N.Y., dispatch office who repeatedly reported safety concerns to his managers, the Federal Railroad Administration and OSHA.

"Retaliating against an employee who raises safety concerns is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "If workers are intimidated into remaining silent, that silence carries an ominous price as hazards may go unreported and thereby place the safety of railway workers and the public at risk."

The worker filed a complaint with OSHA in early 2009 after CSX disciplined him in December 2008. OSHA's investigation found merit to the complaint. As a result, OSHA has ordered the railroad to rescind disciplinary action against the worker and pay him $5,000 in punitive damages.

The order also requires CSX to expunge the worker's personnel record of any derogatory reference to his exercising his rights under the Federal Railroad Safety Act, permanently post a notice of employee whistleblower rights where CSX employees will see them, and provide those employees with a fact sheet and other information about their whistleblower rights under the FRSA.

CSX and the complainant have 30 days from receipt of the findings to file an appeal with the Labor Department's Office of Administrative Law Judges. Under the FRSA, employees of a railroad carrier