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Train Law Blog

The Source for Railroad Injuries & Whistleblower Protection

Tag Archives: New York railroad injury lawyer

What Is A Hazardous Safety Condition?

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
Rail workers who report a “hazardous safety condition” are protected from retaliation by FRSA subsection (b)(1)(A). There are not many cases discussing the scope of that protection, but a recent federal district court decision brings it into sharper focus. Head v. Norfolk Southern Railway Company. The 3rd Circuit was the first court to comment on… Continue Reading

ARB Clarifies FRSA Punitive Damages Standard

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
The Administrative Review Board has handed down an important punitive damages decision that also shows how to eliminate a railroad’s affirmative defense. In Jason Raye v. Pan Am Railways, Inc., the Railroad charged the employee with making false statements in a Federal Rail Safety Act complaint filed with OSHA. Although Raye was never actually disciplined… Continue Reading

More On FRSA Punitive Damages

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
Another Circuit Court has clarified the standard for awarding punitive damages to rail whistleblowers, this time in the context of jury instructions.  After Springfield Terminal Railway Company fired Jason Worcester for raising safety concerns, he filed a Federal Rail Safety Act whistleblower complaint in federal court.  The district judge instructed the jury that:  you can award… Continue Reading

Spotlight on CSX Retaliation

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
You can tell a lot about a workplace culture by how managers react to employee safety complaints. Enlightened managers welcome safety complaints, benighted managers suppress them. Enlightened managers view such complaints as a valuable opportunity for improvement, and underscore the first importance of safety by publicly thanking those employees. Benighted managers view such complaints as… Continue Reading

Expansive Scope of FRSA Adverse Action

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
The boundaries of Federal Rail Safety Act adverse action keep expanding. In Fricka v. National Railroad Passenger Corporation, the Administrative Review Board confirms that FRSA adverse action goes far beyond the limits set by Title VII and Burlington Northern v. White. For example, the following actions are adverse under the FRSA: merely threatening discipline against… Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Final FRSA and NTSSA Rules

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
The Rules governing the whistleblower retaliation complaints of railroad workers under Section 20109 of the Federal Rail Safety Act now are final. And the same Rules apply to the whistleblower retaliation complaints of public transit employees under the National Transit Systems Safety Act (NTSSA). Here is the complete text of the Final Rule. OSHA’s detailed… Continue Reading

FRSA Alert! Expansive Scope of Employee Right to Medical Treatment Confirmed

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
Federal Rail Safety Act Subsection (c)(1) prohibits railroads from denying, delaying, or interfering with the medical treatment “of an employee who is injured during the course of employment.” And (c)(1) also requires that railroads provide prompt transportation to the nearest hospital for employees who are “injured during the course of employment.” Now, in a case… Continue Reading

Article Confirms Railroad Culture of Retaliation

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
Although it comes as no surprise to railroad employees, an investigative article exposes for the rest of the country how railroads continue to retaliate against workers who report safety hazards or injuries. The article is entitled: For Big Railroads, a Carload of Whistleblower Complaints and is published by FairWarning Reports. The article notes that from… Continue Reading

More On the FRSA’s “Clear and Convincing Evidence” Defense Standard

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
On the heels of its signal en banc decision in Powers v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, the Administrative Review Board has issued another important decision further clarifying the standard for a “clear and convincing evidence” defense in Federal Rail Safety Act whistleblower retaliation cases. The case is the ARB’s decision affirming the remand ruling in… Continue Reading

Another Circuit Court Shoots Down “Election of Remedies” Defense

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
In a resounding decision, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals explains why a rail worker’s pursuit of a racial or sexual discrimination claim does not constitute an “election of remedies” barring that worker from pressing a Federal Rail Safety Act Section 20109 whistleblower retaliation claim. In Lee v. Norfolk Southern Railway Company, carman Charles Lee… Continue Reading

When Context Is Everything

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
When does a sentence not mean what it seems to say? When it is quoted out of context. And that is certainly the case with one sentence in the 8th Circuit’s Kuduk v. BNSF Ry. Co., 768 F.3d 786 (8th Cir. 2014), decision railroad attorneys love to rip out of context and wave at judges… Continue Reading

Two More Federal Court FRSA Decisions

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
Railroads are running out of defenses to the Federal Rail Safety Act. Their initial “election of remedies” gambit is dead and buried. Their second line of defense–charging employees who report injuries with “falsification and dishonesty”–has been obliterated by the “inextricably intertwined” principle upheld by judges and appellate courts. In desperation, railroads have been forced to… Continue Reading