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A former employee of Metro-North Railroad has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the company and his union for wrongful termination. The track foreman claims that he was fired after being injured, and the story should be of interest to railroad workers in New York and Connecticut.

In December of 2013, the foreman requested intermittent leave on account of a serious health condition. The complaint does not detail what the condition is. Metro-North had initially approved the employee’s leave, only to fire him less than six months later. His union, Teamsters Local 808, had three years to take his case to arbitration but did nothing.

Metro-North has declined to comment on the case. Union officials, for their part, say that their lack of funds caused a delay. They indicated that it’s not unusual for arbitration cases to be delayed for four or more years.The former employee is seeking back pay and benefits as well as compensation for economic loss, attorney fees and interest. He earned $46,676 in addition to $22,676 in overtime during 2013, his last full year of work.

The Federal Employers Liability Act was passed specifically to protect railroad workers, so those who are injured on the railroad or retaliated against by their employer have the right to file FELA claims. To be successful, though, victims will need to gather a lot of proof against their employer. This is where a personal injury lawyer can come in. A lawyer who knows what standards to apply to what FELA claims can assist with every step of the filing process and seek to negotiate a settlement if that appears to be a possibility.