Railroad work is dangerous: heavy machinery, chemical exposure, 150-ton speeding locomotives. Whether you’ve spent your career working on high voltage wires or maintaining signals or track area, you may have taken on more than your fair share of danger and injury, just shrugging it off as part of the job.
In actuality, it may be that it was the railroad itself that shrugged off your safety. Often workers are put in dangerous situations that they should be safe from, and very often when workers report those unsafe conditions they find themselves slapped with a letter of reprimand, told to keep quiet about an injury or worse.
Here are 10 examples of situations where a worker has a legit whistleblower claim against the railroad.
See if you’ve experienced any of these:
- You were hurt on the job, but didn't report it until after the end of the shift.
- You were hurt on the job, and told that if you report it, it would be used against you for a promotional opportunity.
- You were hurt on the job, and the company says you have to make a statement before they can take you to the hospital.
- You were out on doctor's orders for something that happened at work, and the company used it against you.
- You reported fraud and your boss ends up taking it out against you, because he gets in trouble.
- You reported a tool that needs to be repaired, and the boss makes you do the job for the next two weeks without any tool to help make it easier.
- You reported an on the job injury, and you get brought up on charges for working unsafely.
- You are a foreman or supervisor and you saw an employee in another gang, who is clearly not trained to do a particular job. You tried to step in to protect that employee and you got demoted as a result.
- You drive a particular vehicle for the railroad, and after noting on the checklist that there are problems, your boss told you he's going to abolish your job.
- Something happened on the job, but you didn't think it was an injury. After two weeks you went to the doctor and found out that you have a torn muscle or herniated disc. When you reported this to the job, they told you they couldn’t take the report because you didn't report it in time.
Being a whistleblower doesn’t have to mean blowing the cover off a whole industry, sometimes it’s just knowing your rights to a safe work environment and holding the job accountable to those rights. And when workers stand up to the railroad, juries make the railroad pay. To see just what kind of damages workers win read my blog post, How much is My Whistleblower Case Worth, and check out my Whistleblower Guide at the bottom of this page.