Truckers and Commercial Drivers
Truckers and commercial drivers have a tough job, made even tougher when their employers don’t follow the rules or ask their employees to break them. The Surface Transportation Assistance Act (“STAA”) protects drivers from retaliation for complaining of commercial motor vehicle safety violations and for refusing to violate a safety regulations. The Austin employment attorneys at Wiley Walsh, P.C. can assist a commercial driver who has been retaliated against.The Surface Transportation Assistance Act Prohibits Retaliation Against Employees in the Commercial Motor Vehicle Industry
The law provides strong protection for employees to ensure safe working conditions for employees and members of the public. Under the STAA, an employer may not discharge, discipline, intimidate, threaten, blacklist, harass, demote or discriminate against an employee because they have filed a complaint alleging a commercial motor vehicle safety violation. The complaint may be filed in writing or orally with an employer or government agency.
The law further prohibits retaliation against an employee who refuses to operate a vehicle because operation of the vehicle would violate a motor vehicle safety regulation, standard, or order. This law protects employees who have a reasonable apprehension of serious injury to themselves or the public.
An employee may not be retaliated against for participating in a safety inspection conducted by the Secretary of Transportation, Homeland Security, or National Transportation Safety Board.
Importantly, the regulations prohibit taking adverse action (like suspension or demotion) against an employee because the employer believes or perceives the employee has engaged in any of the above behavior.
Finally, an employee cannot be retaliated against for accurately reporting their hours on duty.Consult with an Austin Employment Attorney if You Suspect Retaliation related to Complaints of Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Rules.
If a trucker or commercial driver believes they have been retaliated against because of a report of a safety violation or other protected activity describe above, the individual must quickly follow certain steps to properly assert a claim. An employee must file a complaint with OSHA within 180 days of the retaliatory act. Failure to do so will most likely bar the employee’s claim. Therefore, if you believe you have been retaliated against, you should consult with an employment attorney as soon as possible to discuss potential options for asserting a whistleblower or retaliation claim. Wiley Walsh, P.C. represents workers, truckers, and commercial drivers who are seeking an employment attorney in cities such as Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Leander, Del Valle, Kyle, San Marcos, San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Fredericksburg. Contact us at (512) 271-5527 or via our online form for an appointment.