There are instances where an employee has witnessed conduct or policies of their employers that put other people in danger. Many times, these people do not report these violations for fear of losing their jobs. However, federal law protects the employees of commercial motor carriers who report their employers’ negligent conduct that puts the public at risk from injuries from truck accidents. In prior posts, Maryland truck accident lawyers have discussed how negligence on the part of truckers and motor carriers put drivers at risk. The attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers believe that this federal law makes it more likely that employees will report workplace conduct that ultimately puts motorists at risk for injuries that are avoidable.
Federal law protects truck drivers and other employees working for commercial motor carriers from retaliation for reporting certain violations of commercial motor carrier safety, health, or security laws. Under Federal law, a motor carrier may not fire, or in any other manner retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety or security regulation; cooperating with federal investigators; or for providing information to federal, state or local law enforcement regarding a motor carrier’s illegal activity. Additionally, an employer cannot retaliate against a driver who refuses to operate a commercial vehicle in a manner that would violate federal, state or local law.
For example, if a trucker reports his employer for ignoring a truck’s mechanical malfunctions in violation of federal law, or for not complying with federal hours of service regulations, and the trucker is fired as a result, the employer may be liable to the trucker for damages. Retaliatory action can take many forms:
• Firing or laying off;
• Denying over time or promotion;
• Denying benefits;
• Failing to hire or rehire;
• Reassignment affecting promotion prospects; and
• Reducing pay or hours.
Our Maryland truck accident attorneys appreciate the actions of those employees who call attention to dangerous practices of trucking companies.
Contact our Maryland truck accident attorneys for a free consultation if you or a loved one has suffered retaliation for reporting an employer’s negligence.