The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says, Kentucky trucking company, Freight Tire Inc., must reinstate the trucker who was terminated after refusing to operate a commercial vehicle during hazardous weather.
OSHA also told Freight Tire Inc. that they have to pay the driver $31,569 back in wages and interest, $100,000 in punitive damages, $50,000 in compensatory damages, and reasonable attorney fees, and to refrain from retaliating against the employee.
The driver’s termination was determined a violation of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act as the driver was right in his concerns over the potential danger to him and the public if he drove under hazardous weather conditions.
“Forcing drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle during inclement weather places their lives and the lives of others at risk,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer. “This order underscores the agency’s commitment to protecting workers who exercise their right to ensure the safety of themselves and the general public .”