Carrier ordered to pay four truckers $1.07M fired for participating in FMCSA audit

| November 19, 2013

The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered a North Carolina carrier to pay four former employees more than $1.07 million after it says the truckers were fired in violation of federal whistle blower protection laws.

Related

Carrier ordered to pay back wages, rehire driver fired for refusing to drive over hours

A federal agency has ordered a Massachusetts carrier pay a driver $131,533 after firing him for refusing to drive after reaching the federal limit on hours.

The DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the Nov. 13 complaint against Gaines Motor Lines Inc. and individuals Tim Gaines and Rick Tompkins. Tompkins’ job title was not immediate available, while the company’s website lists Tim Gaines and company founder Forest Gaines as running 148-truck fleet.

OSHA officials allege the four truck drivers were terminated for participating in a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration inspection audit at company headquarters in Hickory. Agency representatives interviewed the drivers Feb. 28 to March 1. After the FMCSA issued citations against the carrier March 8, the truckers were fired or laid off and lost their benefits.

The administration alleges that they were terminated in violation of the whistleblower protection provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. OSHA has ordered preliminary reinstatement for three of the four employees; the fourth employee died early this year. The company also is to pay $215,657 in back wages, interest, compensatory damages of and $675,000 punitive damages.

Gaines can appeal the order to the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges, but an appeal would not suspend the preliminary reinstatement order.

  • g

    Sure….the owners of these Dumpy companies want the Company Driver to break all the rules…to get the LOAD delivered on time….they dont care about CSA..the Driver will have the points on his CSA File and the COMPANY doesnt really care…Shippers will except a company with 2 or 3 ALERTS on their CSA BASICS FILE…so why would they care?? Same as the OLD DAYS…..dont worry about Logs just deliver the Load On Time…..with equipment that is ALSO in violation……Company Drivers working for these CROOKED dumpy companies are in a Bad Position today.

  • guest

    On this Page is another Article about a driver being AWARDED money after being fired from BRILLO Motor Transportation…Massachusetts. The OWNER quicly DISSOLVED the company..and started a NEW ONE!!!
    He was trying to force the driver to run over hours. Nifty..until the COPS got ahold of this CROOK.

  • guest

    These Hillbilly Shmuck company OWNERS apparently Cant READ about the CSA RULES that are shoved down truckers throats….this crap means EVERYBODY includng company Owners…who up until NOW didnt comply with a Damn Thing until the D.O.T. did an audit. These Hillbilly Crooks would tell the driver/boy/slave to deliver on time or else….they never cared about any stupid Hours of Service….now they STILL choose to Ignore the cops…while the Driver gets CSA points all over his file……

  • Veronica

    UNLESS YOU OWN YOUR OWN COMPANY, DON’T COMMENT BECAUSE YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!!

  • Tom T

    Some of the larger companies are more sophisticated.
    Not all, but some will just imply that you should take this load or deliver a certain point asap and you certainly have
    the right to refuse, and ‘no one is forcing you’ however,
    don`t plan on getting many runs in the near future. In
    other words, your gonna starve. It is unwritten and
    unspoken, but I have been there and done that.

  • Jackie Miller

    I don’t know about any one else but I have to school alot of brokers. They have no clue what is do able in a drivers day.

  • craigamunson

    do OWN my own trucking company and YES brokers and suppliers DO want you to ignore the rules.Was recently FINED $150 for being LATE on an illegal time schedual.

  • Jayne N Montana

    I agree that all should be monitored, I have trucks on the road. But CSA is not and does not reflect the true picture of a company. I had a driver purchase all new drive tire. He then went to deliver his load. Crossed a scale and was called in because he had a flat tire. He had picked up a BOLT on the road that caused the flat. So they made him fix it (I don’t have a problem with that ) the wrote it up and gave him points, That I do have a problem with. I makes all companies look unsafe and although there are those out there, NOT all companies are unsafe

  • TheDeadHorse

    why would you accept an illegal load? The HOS issues are a crock anyway. In 25 years I have only seen one stop one the way home because he was out of hours. Companies are wrong to try to force illegal loads on drivers, but drivers are also wrong since the majority will run illegal to get home.

  • guest

    Yep standard proceedure..the company owners are usually Ex convicts and Criminals and the Dispatchers too!! Total Crooks….they just laugh at
    Rules and Laws…..and YOU better too if you want to remain employed there.

  • g

    Sure that is automatic….they dont care about any Laws…..they are Encouraging YOU to tweek the laws to deliver on time…..Old School always operated like this….Logbook was just a joke….