Federal Agencies Coordinate Against Retaliation
July 24, 2014
Two federal agencies will work together to prevent retaliation against drivers who report safety or health violations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration signed a memorandum of understanding to coordinate their efforts against intimidation.
“This strengthened partnership with OSHA extends our inter-agency collaboration specifically to include the sharing of reports of alleged coercion – companies forcing or intimidating truck or bus drivers to violate federal safety regulations,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro in a statement.
Truck and bus companies that pressure drivers to exceed hours-of-service limits will be prosecuted, Ferro said.
Also, drivers who report hazards or illegal work practices should not face retaliation from their companies, said OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels.
“Through this agreement, we are sending a clear message that silencing workers who try to do the right thing is unacceptable for workers and also unsafe for the public,” Michaels said in a statement.
The memorandum refers to the anti-retaliation provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act and allows the agencies to exchange safety, coercion and retaliation allegations. The agencies will report to each other annually on information shared during the previous year.
Truck and bus drivers, as well as employers and the public may file a safety, service or discrimination complaint by calling toll free 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Eastern Time. Complaints may also be submitted through FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint website at http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov.