OSHA awards BNSF employee

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An Ottumwa man employed the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad has been awarded 12-thousand dollars by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA officials say the railroad was in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act after the company disciplined an employee assigned to it’s terminal in Ottumwa for following a doctor’s treatment plan.

OSHA’s  acting regional administrator Marcia P. Drumm says “workers should never be forced to choose between staying healthy or face disciplinary action”.

An investigation upheld the allegation that the railroad company disciplined the conductor in retaliation for taking leave in line with a treatment plan ordered by his doctor.

Specifically the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad has been ordered to pay two thousand dollars in compensatory and ten thousand dollars in punitive damages as well as reasonable attorney fees.