Missouri State Legislative Board

Jason R. Hayden, Director
Curt Jones, Assistant Director

News Release

OSHA News Release: [03/17/2015]
Contact Name: Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke
Phone Number: (312) 353-6976
Email:
[email protected] or [email protected]
Release Number: 15-0263-KAN

Culture of retaliation: Union Pacific Railroad disciplines locomotive engineer for reporting workplace injury, owes worker $350K in damages.

More than 200 whistleblower complaints against railroad since 2001

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — For the third time since 2011, the Union Pacific Railroad has violated the Federal Railroad Safety Act at its yard in North Platte by disciplining employees who reported workplace injuries and sought medical attention, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found. Since 2001, the company has faced more than 200 whistleblower complaints nationwide.

In the most recent case, OSHA investigators determined that Union Pacific disciplined a 35-year-employee after the locomotive freight engineer reported injuries sustained in a Dec. 22, 2013 collision and received medical attention. The company has been ordered to pay the engineer $350,000 in punitive and compensatory damages and reasonable attorney's fees, remove disciplinary information from the employee's personnel record and provide information about whistleblower rights to all its employees. Prior to this incident, the employee had never been disciplined.

"It is disheartening that this employee, a loyal railroad worker for 35 years, faced disciplinary action because he sought needed medical attention for a work-related injury. Union Pacific's actions and the repeated complaints filed by their employees are indicative of a culture that doesn't show that same loyalty to their workers or concern for their safety," said Marcia P. Drumm, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "Whistleblower protections play an important role in keeping workplaces safe. It is not only illegal to discipline an employee for reporting an injury and seeking medical attention, it puts everyone at risk."

Any of the parties in this case can file an appeal with the department's Office of Administrative Law Judges.

Based in Omaha, Union Pacific Corporation is one of


Heat Safety Tool
By U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

When you're working in the heat, safety comes first. With the OSHA Heat Safety Tool, you have vital safety information available whenever and wherever you need it - right on your mobile phone.



The App allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers. Then, with a simple "click," you can get reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness-reminders about drinking enough fluids, scheduling rest breaks, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency, adjusting work operations, gradually building up the workload for new workers, training on heat illness signs and symptoms, and monitoring each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for working in these conditions.

The OSHA Heat Tool is available in Spanish for Android and iPhone devices. To access the Spanish version on the iPhone, set the phone language setting to Spanish before downloading the app.

Stay informed and safe in the heat, check your risk level.

For more information about safety while working in the heat, see OSHA's heat illness webpage, including new online guidance about using the heat index to protect workers.

The source code for this app is available for download: