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Truck driver backed by Department of Labor for refusing to breach federal safety rules

A model truck on a highway

A federal administrative law judge has unequivocally upheld the Department of Labor’s (DOL) unwavering support for a truck drivers’ rights.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the DOL found that a Crane Masters Inc. employee was fired unlawfully.

Truck driver’s rights upheld by the DOL

The employee had flagged to Cran Masters Inc. that, legally, he could not perform any more work for the company without time off. If the driver had added to his already long nineteen-hour shift he would have been in danger of hurting himself or others.

Crane Masters Inc. responded to his pleas by unlawfully terminating his contract, a decision that the DOL and now a federal law judge have deemed as a clear violation of labor rights.

However, a Judge had decided the case’s fate, saying that Crane Masters must pay the employee $14,945 in back pay, interest, and compensatory damages. Crane Masters fought the decision and have been slapped down in court for their attempt.

Eric S. Harbin, OSHA Regional Administrator, said, “Congress enacted the world’s first whistleblower protections in 1778 to ensure that people who come forward to report illegal behaviors or actions don’t suffer for doing what’s right.

Crane Masters has been a staple of the Houston area. Providing twenty years of service to the chemical manufacturing, oil and gas, and freight industries. This ruling will certainly dent an established workhorse in the Space City industrial world.

In this case, Crane Masters Inc. was held accountable for retaliating against an employee who acted responsibly by raising their concerns about endangering themselves and others by operating a commercial vehicle without sufficient rest.”

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s key documents on the safe approach to working hours and rest times are a staple of American haulage. Crane Masters Inc., in this case, not only disregarded the sanctity of the legislation by fighting this verdict but also received a bloody nose in court over their decision to illegally terminate an employee.

“Once again, the Department of Labor has vigorously enforced the rights of employees who report safety or regulatory violations,” said Regional Solicitor John Rainwater. “A federal judge upheld the department’s contention that Crane Masters wrongly retaliated against a hard-working employee for doing what’s right.”

Image: Ideogram.

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