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Workers’ compensation: Employees should not fear retaliation

| Oct 28, 2020 | workers' compensation

Most Georgia companies are happy to ensure that their employees enjoy a safe work environment. Sadly, there are instances where some companies will go out of their way to cover up safety violations that could endanger both workers and the general public alike. Whether it is to avoid paying workers’ compensation or prevent incurring a fine from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the behavior is concerning and should not be tolerated. Some employees may fear losing their job for reporting safety violations to the proper authorities, which is precisely what OSHA says happened to one worker for CSX Transportation Inc.

Authorities say that an employee for CSX reported an injury that happened on the job as well as a customer gate that was not properly maintained. The employee was allegedly fired for doing this after receiving a charge letter and an investigative hearing. OSHA says that is a violation of federal law under the Federal Railroad Safety Act that protects whistleblowers in the railroad industry.

As a result, CSX was ordered to pay back wages to the employee, as well as to reinstate the worker to his or her position. The employee will also be paid more than $100,000 in damages as well as fees covering attorney costs. The company has also been instructed to ensure that all employees, including managers, are property trained on what the FRSA offers workers in the way of protection.

It is not clear whether the employee is the one who suffered the injury or whether it was a co-worker. Regardless of how that person’s company may have treated the matter, it is important that employees realize that they have a right to collect workers’ compensation benefits in many instances regarding a workplace injury. Those who are unsure of exactly how to do that here in Georgia can consult an attorney who understands this important legal issue.

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