WASHINGTON (AP) – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is ordering railroad operator Norfolk Southern to pay more than $800,000 for firing three workers after they reported injuries on the job.
Safety officials said Monday that the incidents are part of a larger pattern in which the Norfolk, Va.-based company retaliates against employees for reporting work-related injuries, creating a chilling effect in the railroad industry.
The violations of federal whistleblower laws involved a laborer in Greenville, S.C., an engineer in Louisville, Ky., and a railroad conductor based in Harrisburg, Pa. Payments include back pay, compensatory damages and about $525,000 in punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.
Norfolk Southern spokesman Robin Chapman said the company plans to appeal all three administrative rulings.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)