Railroad Whistleblower Lawyers
Protecting People Who Expose Wrongdoing by Railroad Companies
An employee of a U.S. railroad carrier may not suffer discrimination due to lawful reporting of any misconduct on the part of the company. Such misconduct may include violation of any federal or state law; lack of enforcement of any railroad safety or security law, rule, or regulation; or reporting of any circumstance or event resulting in injury or death.
If you or someone you know was fired, demoted, suspensed, reprimanded, or suffered any other form of discrimination for whistleblowing inside the railroad industry, contact the attorneys at Rome, Arata, Baxley & Stelly, LLC. During their many years of collective legal experience in railroad and personal injury litigation, Rome, Arata, Baxley & Stelly, LLC, assisted clients in numerous Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA)/Locomotive Inspection Act whistleblower protection cases.
In 2011, in Tacoma, Washington, a locomotive engineer for the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad reported and sued the railroad for safety violations. The engineer was concerned that the delay in his legal battle could cause other workers to remain silent over other potential safety troubles on the tracks. He maintained that he was fired because of his honest reporting of BNSF’s safety violations; BNSF contended that he was dismissed because of “unrelated” reasons.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states:
“Individuals working for railroad carriers and their contractors and subcontractors are protected from retaliation for reporting potential safety or security violations to their employers or to the government.”
Retaliation against those who report wrongdoing can include:
- Loss of job
- Undeserved discipline
- Suppression of accident information
- Unjust termination
- Elimination of benefits or wages
- Denial of overtime or promotion
Case in Point
In Brundridge v. Fluor Federal Services, Inc., 191 P.3d 879 (Wash. 2008), 11 pipefitters working for Fluor Federal Services in Washington state were discharged after raising safety concerns or supporting those who did. The workers refused to install what they considered underrated valves that could cause nuclear contamination to workers, individuals, and families in the vicinity. According to the workers, the pipe valve jeopardized the structural integrity of the underground storage tanks. The pipefitters prevailed, with the average settlement per employee involved in the case amounting to $432,727.
The state and federal regulations covering individual cases of whistleblowing vary, so those who report workplace hazards or misconduct must know the steps and processes involved. Some variants include:
- The amount of time allowed before reporting (often sooner than you might expect)
- The consequences of filing a false report
- The question of anonymity
- The steps involved in reporting
- To whom whistleblowers make their statements
Members of the legal field will tell you that it takes years to understand and interpret the law. It is also true that legislatures and agencies can change or modify statutes and regulations with time.
Navigating the complex system of laws in the U.S. legal system without representation is often difficult, overwhelming, and lonesome—so find attorneys with experience and firsthand knowledge of whistleblowing laws. If you think you may face a whistleblowing case in the railroad injustry, call the offices of Rome, Arata, Baxley & Stelly, LLC. Let us assist you in receiving the protection and recovering the compensation you deserve.
If an employer retaliates against a whistleblower who follows the proper reporting procedures, that employee is entitled to damages in the form of:
- Back pay for money lost as a result of retaliation
- Future pay (the money earned but for the retaliation)
- Compensatory damages based on actual out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills, intangible losses such as pain and suffering due to reprisal, or the cost of obtaining new employment
- Emotional distress compensation
- Reputational damages
- Attorney’s fees
David and Goliath
For those who dare to come forward when they see wrongdoing in their workplace, know that you are not alone. Large railroad companies possess extensive legal teams and forms of protection, leaving honest employees at a serious disadvantage; you may lack the resources necessary to begin your battle. You may believe you cannot fight this giant.
With our help, you can. We can protect you from retaliation and help fight against any repercussions from coming forward.
For railroad whistleblowing retaliation questions, call Rome, Arata, Baxley & Stelly, LLC, for a free consultation at (800) 249-1306, or fill out our contact form. We take cases on a contingency fee basis—this allows clients to pay nothing upfront. Our firm is also experienced in dealing with cases involving personal injury, maritime accidents, premises liability, and wrongful death. We work closely with our clients, and aspire to provide unmatched service, dedication, and passion to ensure that our clients receive the justice they deserve.
If you experienced retaliation because you reported unsafe practices in the railroad industry, call Rome, Arata, Baxley & Stelly, LLC, Today for FREE Consultation 504-521-7946, 800-249-1306 or contact us online.