Train Law Blog

Train Law Blog

The Source for Railroad Injuries & Whistleblower Protection

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Metro North Hit With Seven FRSA c(2) Violations

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act, Railroad Injuries

Once again, the federal government is telling Metro North that its “discipline trumps safety” culture must change. OSHA’s Whistleblower Directorate has found Metro North violated subsection c(2) of the Federal Rail Safety Act in seven cases. In each case, the employee followed his doctor’s order to stay home because he could not safely perform his… Continue Reading

Metro North Railroad Train Collision

Posted in Railroad Injuries

The ultimate rail safety lessons from the Metro North Railroad train derailment are yet to be learned.  As the investigation continues, our foremost concern is for the injured Metro North passengers and Metro North crew members.  But one thing is clear: this train collision reminds all of us that the operation of our nation’s railroads… Continue Reading

OSHA and FRA Join Forces To Defeat Railroad Retaliation

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act, Railroad Injuries

In a watershed moment for rail safety, the Federal Rail Administration and OSHA’s Office of Whistleblower Protection are joining forces to eliminate retaliation against employees who report injuries and safety concerns. OSHA and the FRA have signed an historic Memorandum of Agreement specifying how they will be cooperating to enforce the whistleblower protection provision of… Continue Reading

Metro North Hit With Highest FRSA Punitive Damages Yet

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act, Railroad Injuries

Once again, OSHA has slammed Metro North Railroad with punitive damages for disregarding the Federal Rail Safety Act rights of its employees. This time it is for using prior injuries to deny promotions, and the resulting punitive damage award is $125,000. Like many railroads, Metro North has a policy and practice of considering an employee’s history… Continue Reading

BNSF Railway Hit With FRSA Punitive Damages

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act, Railroad Injuries

Here is a classic example of how the Federal Rail Safety Act is correcting rail management’s reflexive "blame the injured worker" mentality. The Railroad failed to provide the proper tool to do the task in question. So the worker used whatever was at hand to complete the task, just as many other workers had done… Continue Reading

Another Sign The FRSA Is Changing Railroad Culture

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act, FELA Injuries, Railroad Injuries

Refreshing words from FRA Administrator Joe Szabo here at the National Mediation Board’s Passenger Railroad Conference in Philadelphia. Joe complimented Amtrak President Boardman for disconnecting manager compensation from injury statistics. Joe noted that while this will result in an increase in reported injuries, it will provide the FRA with the type of accurate information necessary… Continue Reading

How The FRSA Overrides Valid Reasons For Discipline

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act, Railroad Injuries, Railroad Safety

Strange as it sounds, a railroad manager can have a valid reason for taking disciplinary action against an employee and still be in violation of the FRSA. How? Because the employee’s protected activity in reporting an injury,raising a safety concern, or following a treating doctor’s orders was a “contributing factor” to the action. The FRSA requires that an… Continue Reading

FRA Requires Stronger Rail Cars

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act, Railroad Accidents, Railroad Injuries

  Starting in March, commuter rail cars must be built with stronger front-end frames to better protect passengers during collisions. click here This is good news, but underscores the importance of avoiding collisions in the first place. How? Rail workers are the eyes and ears of safety on the tracks. If they hestitate to raise safety concerns… Continue Reading

Groundbreaking Decision On FRSA Medical Interference

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act, Railroad Injuries

  Railroad Medical Departments, beware, you can no longer interfere with an injured employee’s medical treatment. Subsection (c) of the Federal Rail Safety Act prohibits a railroad from denying, delaying, or interfering with the medical treatment of an injured employee. The FRSA also prohibits a railroad from disciplining an employee for following the orders or… Continue Reading

Metro North Railroad and LIRR Beware!

Posted in Railroad Injuries

  The civil penalties for discrimination just got steeper and more painful for Metro North Railroad and Long Island Railroad. Metro North and LIRR now are subject to new penalties of up to $100,000 for violations of New York State’s Human Rights Law. N.Y. Exec. Law Section 290 et seq. New York’s law prohibits discrimination… Continue Reading

FRA Bars Supervisors From Medical Exam Rooms

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act, Railroad Injuries

The opportunities for railroad supervisors to harass injured workers just keeps getting smaller and smaller. The Federal Railroad Administration has now put a stop to the practice of railroad supervisors accompanying injured employees into medical exam rooms. The FRA issued a Notice of Interpretation declaring it to be a violation of federal regulations for a… Continue Reading

FRA Gives CSX Last Chance to Stop Intimidation and Retaliation

Posted in FELA Injuries, Railroad Injuries, Railroad OSHA Whistleblower

 Some people just don’t get it. CSX Transportation managers definitely fall into that group. In a lengthy Investigative Report released in March of 2008, the Federal Railroad Administration put CSX on notice that its management culture of harassment and intimidation intended to dissuade employees from reporting injuries had to stop. In response, CSXT made numerous… Continue Reading

Railroad Workers Gain New Protection Against Retaliation For Injuries

Posted in Railroad Accidents, Railroad Injuries, Railroad OSHA Whistleblower

As the saying goes, knowledge is power. Here’s an amazing new law that every rail worker should know about. The Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA), 29 U.S.C. Section 20109, hands employees a shield and a sword to fight back against rail managers who heretofore have retaliated against workers with impunity. The FRSA prohibits retaliation whenever… Continue Reading

Welcome to Train Law Blog

Posted in Rail Labor, Railroad Injuries

Welcome to Train Law Blog, where all things of legal interest to railroad employees and rail labor representatives are considered. Railroad workers live in a subculture governed by a melange of esoteric federal statutes and agencies most people (and attorneys) have never heard of: the Railway Labor Act (RLA) and the National Mediation Board (NMB);… Continue Reading