Under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, workers in the trucking industry who report safety violations to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are protected from retaliation from their employers. This means that if you report your employer for violating a safety law, cooperate with federal safety investigations for a suspected violation of trucking safety laws, or provide information regarding injuries or deaths involving commercial vehicles, you may be protected from retaliation. Retaliation can take on many forms, but it can include being fired, demoted, laid off, being threatened, having your work hours reduced, or losing out on opportunities because you reported a safety violation.
If you reported a safety violation and believe your employer has retaliated against you, you can file a whistleblower complaint and may be able to seek additional damages from your employer if your employer’s retaliation resulted in your loss of wages, work, promotion, or other losses. The Law Offices of F. Benjamin Riek is a whistleblower lawyer for workers in the trucking industry in Cleveland, Ohio who may be able to assist you with your whistleblower complaint or with seeking protections if your employer has retaliated against you.
Who is Protected Under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act?
Workers who are employed as commercial drivers, either as employers or independent contractors are covered under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. Truck drivers and other employees or independent contractors connected to commercial transportation may be protected under the act from retaliation from employers or contractors. According to the OHSA Fact Sheet on the Surface Transportation Assistance Act this can include truckers, bus drivers, or other workers who are involved in commercial transportation, including mechanics, freight handlers, and other workers who might observe safety violations.
Truckers who operate vehicles with a weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 10,001 pounds are protected under the act, as are drivers operating vehicles designed to carry 10 or more passengers. Drivers who transport hazardous materials may also be protected. The Law Offices of F. Benjamin Riek are truck safety whistleblower lawyers in Cleveland, Ohio who can review your situation and determine whether you are protected under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. If you have witnessed a safety violation on the job, are concerned for your own safety, or the safety of the general public, it can require great courage to report a violation to OHSA. Some workers worry about retaliation and wonder whether their jobs will be protected if they blow the whistle on their employers. The Law Offices of F. Benjamin Riek are truck safety whistleblower attorneys in Cleveland, Ohio who may be able to assist you with the whistleblowing process and help you file a complaint if you face retaliation.
What is Retaliation?
Retaliation following a whistleblower complaint can take on many forms. If you report a violation, your employer should not take negative actions against you. These actions can include firing you or laying you off, demoting you, denying you a promotion or overtime pay, denying you benefits, disciplining you for reporting a safety violation, intimidating you, or reducing your pay or your hours because you spoke up. Proving retaliation can sometimes be a challenge, and this is where it can help to have a truck safety whistleblower lawyer like the Law Offices of F. Benjamin Riek in Cleveland, Ohio on your side.
You have the right to feel safe on the job if you report a safety violation. If you feel that your job is being threatened, or that your employer is taking negative actions against you for reporting a workplace safety violation, for cooperating with a safety investigation, or for providing information to the government for witnessed safety violations, you may be covered under protections by OHSA. The truck safety whistleblower lawyers at the Law Offices of F. Benjamin Riek in Cleveland, Ohio may be able to assist you with filing a complaint if you have suffered losses for reporting trucking safety violations.
Time Limits for Reporting Retaliation
According to United States Department of Labor, you may only have 180 days to report retaliation for reporting truck safety violations. Acting swiftly can protect you if you lose wages or suffer a demotion due to an employer’s choice to retaliate against you. Contact the Law Offices of F. Benjamin Riek, Cleveland, Ohio truck safety whistleblower lawyers today to learn more about the next steps we may be able to take to protect your rights. We work closely with workers who witness safety violations who may have faced retaliation from their employers. We can also assist you if you have witnessed a safety violation and want to know what your next steps should be. We can help you understand the protections you might have and steps you can take to protect yourself as you move forward.