Metro-North gets record fine in retaliation case

AP News
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Posted: Dec 16, 2014 1:17 PM

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The U.S. Labor Department has ordered the Metro-North Railroad to pay a record fine for taking disciplinary action against an employee who reported getting injured on the job.

The department said Tuesday that the fine of more than $250,000 marks the largest punitive damages ever in a retaliation case under the Federal Railroad Safety Act.

The employee involved was a coach cleaner in Connecticut who reported suffering a knee injury in November 2011.

The assistant labor secretary for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says companies cannot fix safety problems when employees hesitate to report work-related injuries because they fear retaliation.

Metro-North spokesman Aaron Donovan says the railroad has made strides to promote a safety culture that encourages employees to report safety concerns without fear of retaliation.