Working on a Minnesota railroad brings with it inherent risks, and your risk of suffering an injury in your line of work is high. What happens, though, if you suffer a work-related injury and your employer terminates you because of it?
According to Whistleblowers.gov, you have certain protections available to you as an injured railroad worker. The Federal Railroad Safety Act outlines what they are and when they apply.
The FRSA dictates that your railroad industry employer may not fire you or otherwise retaliate or discriminate against you for notifying the railroad carrier or secretary of transportation about a work-related personal injury. If your injury was the result of a hazardous work condition, you also have the right to report the unsafe condition without fearing retaliation or termination from your employer.
If your employer does fire you after you made a report about your railroad injury in good faith, you may want to consider filing a complaint. For your case to move forward, you must make your claim within 180 days of the date your employer terminated you.
If you are successful in making your claim, you may be eligible for damages. You may, too, be eligible for reinstatement with the same seniority status you have before your firing. You may also be eligible for back pay with interest as well as compensatory damages relating to legal expenses, witness fees and related expenditures. In some cases, you may also be eligible for punitive damages that are not to exceed $250,000.