The US Department of Labor ordered a San Jose-based trucking company to pay two workers a combined $145,000 last week. An OSHA investigation found that Transdev Services retaliated against its employees for reporting their inability to safely drive. OSHA found Transdev to be in violation of a 1982 federal statute that protects whistleblowers from retaliation.
The company issued two drivers disciplinary points for refusing to drive due to illness or fatigue. One of the drivers was terminated over these points. Firing or disciplining workers for reporting their inability to safely drive is a direct violation of federal law.
As a result, the company now must reinstate the dismissed worker and pay them $95,000 in back wages and damages. The other driver will receive $50,000 in damages. Beyond these payments, Transdev must also train managers, revise company policy, and post a notice informing its workers of their rights.
Transdev Services can appeal the decision to the DOL’s Office of Administrative Law Judges. The company has indicated that they intend to appeal.
The San Jose trucking company violated whistleblower statutes
Transdev Services violated the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 with its actions. The STAA protects workers who report workplace safety concerns from retaliation of any kind. These provisions help keep our roads and our transportation sector employees safe.
Every year in the US, police report around 100,000 drowsy driving crashes. The actual number of crashes that drowsy driving causes is likely much higher. While not as widespread or dangerous as drunk driving, drowsy driving should be avoided at all costs.
Safety is incredibly important in the transportation sector. Nationally, incidents of traffic accidents and fatalities are up, higher than their pre-pandemic levels. Transportation companies face soaring demand for quick shipping and a shortage of long-haul truckers. However, this does not make it alright to force drivers to work. We at San Jose Car Transport know that speed and efficiency come second to safety every time.