M3 Transport LLC/SLT Expressway Inc. and its successors-in-interest, Lyons Capital LLC and the Roadmaster Group in Glendale, Arizona, were ordered last week by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to reinstate a former truck driver and pay him $315,000 in damages after being found to have violated the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA).
On February 8, 2010, the employee was assigned a new co-driver to transport explosives to Canada. When the employee found the vehicle’s ashtray overflowing with cigarette butts, he notified his supervisors because his co-driver’s smoking while hauling explosives violates federal regulations. The employee was then ordered to go home until he was assigned a new co-driver. Two days later, however, the company terminated him. OSHA determined that the termination was a retaliatory action taken because the employee reported his co-worker’s violations of federal law, and that the company therefore violated STAA.
In addition to ordering reinstatement and paying the former employee, M3 Transportation must also remove any adverse references related to the discharge from the employee’s personnel records and post a notice to inform all employees of their rights under STAA.
The Employment Law Group® law firm is a leader in the field of whistleblower protection law and has an extensive nationwide whistleblower practice representing employees – including commercial motor carrier whistleblowers – who have exposed illegal activity by their employer and suffered retaliation.