OSHA says New Jersey Transit violated whistleblower law

OSHA is ordering New Jersey's public transportation system to pay more than $500,000 to a worker for violating whistleblower provisions under the Federal Railroad Safety Act, the agency announced April 7.

According to an OSHA press release, an agency investigation showed that in February 2008, New Jersey Transit brought an employee up on charges for reporting he experienced a work-related illness after witnessing a fatal accident involving another worker. In addition, the worker's pay was cut and he was suspended. OSHA is ordering New Jersey Transit to compensate the worker for lost back pay, lost benefits payments, interest and compensatory damages, and attorney fees, in addition to expunging disciplinary actions taken against the employee and references to them from various records.

New Jersey Transit and the complainant have 30 days from receipt of the findings to file an appeal with the Department of Labor's Office of Administrative Law Judges.

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