Recently, OSHA conducted meetings with representatives of both the trucking and railroad industries. The subject of the meeting was whistleblowing and the issues inherent in the practice. The meeting was attended by company representatives, union officials and industry association representatives. The meeting could affect whistleblowing procedures in the northeastern region of the transportation industry, including New Haven, Connecticut, New York and Washington, D.C.
Working in the railroad industry has a higher risk of accident and injury than other industries in the United States. If you were injured on the job, you may face high medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages and emotionally suffer from the trauma of the experience.
Fear of retaliation, such as job loss, often prevents workers in Connecticut from coming forward with their concerns about safety or potentially illegal conduct. Despite the personal difficulty that people might feel about coming forward with allegations, 22 different laws establish whistleblower protection in different industries, such as transportation, financial and energy production. An official at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said that whistleblowers benefit the public because their testimony can expose harmful practices.
Workplace safety advocates in Connecticut may be interested to learn that a utility worker filed a lawsuit on April 26 against a railroad corporation after she suffered injuries. According to the complaint, the worker's injuries resulted from negligence by failing to provide the company's employees with a reasonably safe place to work under the Federal Employer's Liability Act.
Companies defraud the government by submitting false claims to different government agencies every year, causing the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars. In order to combat the problem of fraudulent claims, Congress passed the False Claims Act shortly after the Civil War.
Imagine a male railroad employee working in the middle of summer. The sun is hitting directly on his skin as he finishes his first task for the day, but two hours later, he starts to feel uncomfortable, even nauseated.