Freight Rite was fined $200,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after the company fired a driver after he refused to drive in bad weather.
OSHA ordered the trucking company to reinstate the driver who refused to operate in hazardous road conditions caused by inclement winter weather.
“OSHA inspectors determined that the employee advised the company’s management of his reasonable apprehension of danger to himself and to the general public due to the hazardous road conditions,” the agency said in a press release. The driver’s termination was a violation of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, OSHA added.
The agency also ordered the company to pay the driver $31,569 in back wages and interested, $100,000 in punitive damages, $50,000 in compensatory damages and reasonable attorney fees, Commercial Carrier Journal reports. The agency also warned that the company should not retaliate against the driver, who was not identified as the DOL does not release names of employees involved in complaints.
Freight Rite can appeal the order by requesting a full hearing before an administrative law judge of the Department of Labor. According to CCJ, the administrative judge's decision may then be appealed to the Department's Administrative Review Board.