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U.S. driver gets $276K for firing over hours of service risk

Posted: June 10, 2016 by Today's Trucking Staff

Picture of American Truck - Free Pictures - FreeFoto.comBOSTON, MA – In August 2012, a bottled water truck driver starting out from Massachusetts realized that a severe thunderstorm and heavy traffic wouldn’t allow him to complete his delivery within his legal hours of service. What did he do? To the chagrin of his employer, the driver dropped off the load at a closer facility, where a secondary delivery could be arranged later.

Shortly after the delivery was held in Kearny, NJ, arrangements were made to have a different NFI driver complete the last leg of the haul to Jersey City, about seven miles away.

NFI Interactive Logistics Inc. fired the original driver the very next day for “insubordination”. But now, nearly four years later, an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found that the company violated anti-retaliation provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

OSHA is ordering the Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based company to reinstate the driver, whose name is protected under whistleblower legislation, pay him more than $276,000 in back wages and damages, and take other corrective action.

“This driver found a way to do his job and ensure motor carrier safety. Rather than receiving credit for doing the right thing, he received a pink slip,” said Kim Stille, OSHA’s New England regional administrator.

 

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