Union Pacific is Ordered to Reinstate a Railroad Worker Who Was Terminated After an Injury
As an experienced FELA/railroad injury lawyer I see many instances of how railroads seek to punish workers who report work injuries.
Sometimes I’m told this is exactly what people would expect me to say because I represent injured railroad workers in Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and across the United States.
Here an injured railroad worker describes how he was represented by attorney John Cooper
However, a case from Nebraska in which Union Pacific Railroad terminated a worker who reported a work-related illness, provides further evidence of the way many railroads treat employees who are hurt on the job.
Omaha.com reported on how federal judge has ordered that Union Pacific Railroad reinstate and pay $325,000 in damages to a railroad employee from Nebraska who was terminated after reporting a work-related injury.
Pamela Lakes, an administrative law judge at the U.S. Department of Labor, ordered the Omaha-based railroad to rehire Brian Petersen who was an apprentice machinist in North Platte “as soon as possible” and pay him $325,000 in damages.
Petersen was hurt in 2009 after another employee ran over his foot while parking his vehicle.
“Both employees — including Petersen, because he had been talking on his cellphone at the time of the accident — were disciplined. Petersen was later fired,” reported Omaha.com.
Petersen said the railroad had illegally terminated his job because he suffered a minor injury on the job and turned in the required report. U.P. denied the injury had anything to do with Petersen’s dismissal, even though it occurred just two weeks after he returned to work.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the railroad disciplined Petersen for speaking out and then “fired him for a separate reason to cover up the company’s actions”
This case makes it clear you don’t have to have suffered a major injury for a railroad to retaliate.
If you have been hurt on the railroad you need vigorous legal representation from an experienced railroad/FELA injury lawyer to protect yourself against the railroad.
The Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Hampton railroad injury/FELA law firm, Cooper Hurley, handles railroad worker’s injuries and injuries on rail crossings in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia, as well as automobile, truck, and motorcycle injuries and slip and fall cases, wrongful death and medical malpractice. John Cooper and Jim Hurley have over 40 years of combined experience in handling catastrophic injury claims. The firm is recognized by other lawyers as “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, a national attorney rating service, for our top level of legal skill and highest ethical standards. If you need help or advice about a serious injury, please call us or contact us through this website.