The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has settled its whistleblower case against Tennessee-based trucking company, Mark Alvis Inc., after it allegedly fired a driver for refusing to haul a load because of an injury he sustained on the job. The driver was also out of hours he could legally drive at the time.
On Tuesday, Oct. 16, Michael D’Aquino with the office of public affairs for the DOL, told Land Line that Mark Alvis Inc. is now operating as an intrastate-only company because its interstate operating authority was revoked in April 2012.
D’Aquino added that the driver “has already been reinstated” with the company.
Mark Alvis has also been ordered to pay the driver $30,000, as well as ensure that no employee exercising whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act – STAA –will be “discharged or face any manner of discrimination,” according to an OSHA release.
“OSHA will continue to ensure that America’s truck drivers’ right to refuse to drive when they are fatigued, ill or in violation of hours-of-service requirements is not undermined,” said Cindy A. Coe, OSHA’s regional administrator in Atlanta, in the release.
In May, the DOL originally ordered Mark Alvis to pay the driver $180,000 in back pay, interest and compensatory and punitive damages. However, the company appealed the DOL’s order.
The driver was injured while inspecting his milk tanker on May 4, 2010, which was scheduled for a Kroger Supermarket in Murfreesboro, TN. After delivering that load, he was assigned another load. He refused, citing that he was “ill and fatigued, and did not have sufficient allowable service hours remaining to do so, according to federal regulations.”
After returning his truck to the yard, he was ordered to “remove his belongings from his truck,” a DOL release stated.