According to an announcement by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an Amtrak employee who was terminated after voicing concerns regarding railroad safety has been reinstated. He has also been financially compensated for $892,551. The man was allegedly let go for expressing concerns about fraud and abuse committed by a railroad contractor that had been previously convicted in a New York state court.
Sometime during the first half of 2010, the employee investigated an Amtrak contractor that had conducted testing on specific Amtrak tunnel projects and had been convicted on state fraud charges for evaluating and testing concrete at buildings in New York City. The employee voiced his suspicions regarding the quality of the contractor’s work on Amtrak projects.
In October of 2010, the employee gave information to Amtrak’s Dispute Resolution Office and supported another employee who had been reprimanded after raising concerns about safety regarding a separate issue. The employee received his first negative performance review the next month. The following year in March of 2011, he was advised by Amtrak that his position was being eliminated as part of a company reorganization.
During the next few months, the whistleblower applied for other positions. However, he was advised that he lacked the necessary training in law enforcement, in spite of his 40-year law enforcement career with equal training. The employee was terminated because he was not placed into a new position.
In response, the employee filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA. The agency refrained from identifying the employee as it is against its policy to do so.
An individual who has been retaliated against with wrongful termination for being a whistleblower who voiced concerns about unsafe working conditions may have legal recourse. An employment law attorney may file a complaint with the appropriate federal labor agency seeking financial compensation for lost wages and more.