Railroad workers in Connecticut and around the country who are injured in on-the-job accidents are covered by the Federal Employers Liability Act and not state-run workers' compensation programs. While injured or sick workers in other industries are generally entitled to compensation even if they acted negligently, railroad workers may be denied benefits if their injuries were entirely or partly caused by their reckless behavior. Another key difference between the two processes is that FELA claims are filed in court rather than with a workers' compensation insurance company.
Workers in New York, Connecticut and the surrounding areas are protected under OSHA whistleblower statutes. This means that employers are generally unable to retaliate against a worker for calling attention to illegal or harassing behavior in the workplace. Examples of protected activities include reporting a hazard on the job, refusing to engage in illegal activity or participating in an investigation. Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against can file a complaint with OSHA.
In September 2018, the National Transportation Safety Board issued its report on a railway accident that occurred in January 2017 in South Dakota. Railway workers and their employees in New York may be able to learn from this incident, which was the 52nd fatal railway accident to occur in the past 21 years.
Railroad workers in New York who are injured while they are working on the job may be protected under the Federal Employers' Liability Act. This law is in place to protect railroad and other federal employees when they are injured because of the negligence of their employers.
Railroad workers in New York and around the country do not participate in the U.S. Social Security program. Instead, their retirement benefits, which are primarily financed by payroll taxes, are administered by the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board. A panel of federal appeals judges in Arkansas were recently tasked with deciding whether or not the provisions of the Railroad Retirement Tax Act should apply to awards for lost wages in workplace injury cases, and they ruled that the wording of the law was unambiguous and no RRTA taxes should be deducted.