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FELA Violations in Massachusetts Cost Metro North Commuter Railroad

A recent investigation, conducted by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), found that the Metro North Commuter Railroad Co. is guilty of discriminating against an employee injured at work. The company is accused of denying him a promotion within the company.
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OSHA aims to help protect employees from work accidents in Massachusetts and elsewhere throughout the United States.

Our Massachusetts railroad work injury attorneys understand that workers are too often discriminated against or retaliated against in the wake of an injury claim or after reporting a work-safety violation. Since the Administration stepped in, the company has been ordered to take action to correct the situation. This action includes granting the employee the promotion and paying approximately $125,000 for various damages, including roughly $12,000 in medical and legal expenses and $5,000 for compensatory damages. It doesn’t end there. The company has also been ordered to give him the difference in pay between his current wages and the wages of the promotion — plus interest. It also have to change their company records to clearly state that that employee’s injury was in fact work-related.

Metro North is now required to post notices to employees at every single one of its stations. These notices inform employees about what protections the Federal Railroad Safety Act offers them. They also have to hand out an FRSA informational and fact sheet on the procedures on how to properly report a work-related injury and illness.

“The railroad’s blatant disregard for its employees’ rights and its refusal to cooperate with our investigation warrant these significant punitive damages, which are the highest ordered to date by OSHA in a FRSA-related discrimination investigation,” said OSHA’s New England regional administrator in Boston, Mass., Marthe Kent.

The Metro North employee submitted a complaint to OSHA back in October of 2008. His work-related injury was written off as not being work-related in July of 2008. Since the company denied his claim, he had to pay for the necessary medical expenses out of pocket. The company later told him, in November of 2008, that he had not been chosen for the promotion he had applied for. Officials report that the denial was based partly because of the employee’s injury record. OSHA concluded that the false classification and the promotional denial all counted as discrimination against that employee.

If you have been injured at work in the Boston area, contact Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-877-617-5333.

More Blog Entries:

Construction Workers Face High-Risk of Potentially Fatal Work Accidents in Massachusetts This Summer, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 12, 2011

Salisbury Firefighter Suffers Injuries in Massachusetts after Firehouse Accident, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 8, 2011

Fatal New England Work Accident Results in 18 Serious Violations, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 2, 2011