Commercial truck drivers face numerous hazards on the job, including getting caught in snowstorms or other threatening weather conditions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatal injuries in truck accidents are more likely to occur during the winter months in northern states. Under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, commercial motor vehicles must discontinue operating if weather conditions become sufficiently dangerous by adversely affecting visibility or traction. However, truck drivers and their supervisors may not always agree on what constitutes sufficiently dangerous. When disagreements occur, it is the driver’s decision that will legally control what is right and wrong.
The Surface Transportation Assistance Act prohibits an employer from disciplining or firing a commercial driver for the following reasons:
- The driver refuses to drive a commercial motor vehicle on the highways in violation of the U.S Code of Federal Regulations
- The driver fears serious injury to himself or the public
In June, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ordered a freight company to pay a truck driver $31,569 in back wages, as well as $150,000 in punitive and compensatory damages because the company fired him after he refused to operate his vehicle under hazardous conditions. OSHA inspectors investigated his claim and ascertained that the truck driver told his supervisors that he feared danger to himself and others because of the hazardous weather conditions, and that the company fired him after he reported his concerns.
If you have been fired from your job because you refused to pursue an illegal or harmful course of action, contact the Philadelphia wrongful termination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. To learn more about wrongful termination, call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we represent clients throughout Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.