(Omaha, Nebraska – August 25, 2011)
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the assessment of $615,215 in fines against Union Pacific Railroad Thursday for actions UPRR took against three employees for reporting workplace safety issues and work-related injuries.
OSHA found that UP had violated the rights of a Tucson, AZ-based locomotive engineer and two Kansas City, MO-based train conductors in retaliating against them for reporting conditions and/or injuries. The railroad fired two of the employees and suspended the other for five days.
Although operating safety issues are generally under the jurisdiction of the Federal Railroad Administration, OSHA administers all investigations into violations of The Whistleblower Act. OSHA’s release of the fines and findings said that these latest violations “seemed to be a pattern at Union Pacific because two other instances of retaliation were found in 2010 and 2011. OSHA has also ordered Union Pacific, which refused to answer press inquiries for comment, to conduct training for all its managers and employees regarding the rights of Whistleblowers.