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Allegedly blacklisted trucker gets $100,000 after OSHA complaint

Georgia truck drivers may find relevant the news that the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration instructed a Missouri-based trucking company to pay a former employee more than $100,000. The payment was ordered after the driver claimed he was blacklisted in the commercial transportation industry for seeking medical attention following a work-related injury. The $100,994.24 was awarded for both lost wages and to compensate the driver for other damages. The motor carrier was also told to undertake corrective action to prevent the situation from arising again.

In 2008, the driver informed the company that he suffered an injury related to his work and would be seeking medical care. Because of the medications he was prescribed for the injury, he could not safely drive a commercial motor vehicle, and he provided documentation to that effect to his employer. Once he was cleared in 2009 to return to work, he did not resume his former position and looked for work with other companies.

However, OSHA reported, he was rejected for a new position in the industry and learned that his former employer was giving misleading and damaging information to a pre-employment screening service. That information allegedly appeared on a report filed by former trucking employers, which the driver said in his complaint to OSHA violated anti-retaliation rules in the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. The agency agreed.

It is unlawful for employers to retaliate against current or former employees for exercising their legal rights. A workplace accident can legitimately sideline workers due to a resulting leg injury, back injury or spine injury. Workers' compensation may be sought by injured employees, and Social Security disability may be an option for the most serious on-the-job injuries.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "US Labor Department's OSHA orders Missouri trucking company to pay more than $100,000 to blacklisted driver from New Jersey", Leni Fortson and Joanna Hawkins, January 06, 2014

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