OSHA Fines Railroad $923K For Firing Workers

A major railroad company was recently fined over $932,000 for illegally terminating two workers who were injured on the job. Investigators from The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that Norfolk Southern Railway Co. illegally terminated the workers for reporting their workplace injuries.

“Firing workers for reporting an injury is not only illegal, it endangers other workers,” said David Michaels, OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor. “When workers are discouraged from reporting injuries, no investigation into the cause of an injury or possible future prevention can occur.”

Dr. Michaels also noted that railroad workers are entitled to report work-related injuries without fear ofretaliation.

Generally workers who are injured in workplace accidents are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits can include a wide array of benefits depending on a worker’s particular situation. Common benefits covered by workers’ compensation include medical expenses, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation.

A challenge for many Illinois workers is that their employers and insurers will seek to limit the amount of benefits that an injured worker receives. That is why it is important to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help protect your rights to compensation.

Railroad employees are unique because they are usually covered under a parallel workers’ compensation regime called the Federal Employers’ Liability Act or FELA. We will discuss FELA and the particulars of this railroad injury case in our next post.

Source: OSHA, “Norfolk Southern Railway Co. ordered by US Labor Department’s OSHA to pay more than $932,000 after illegally terminating 2 injured workers,” Region 5 News Release: 12-1763-CHI