Drivers

Gaines Motor Lines Agrees to $262,500 Settlement Over Fired Drivers

August 20, 2014

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The U.S. Department of Labor has reached a settlement with Gaines Motor Lines and its owners that includes paying more than a quarter of a million dollars to resolve findings made by the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

A whistleblower complaint alleged that four former truck drivers were terminated for participating in an inspection audit conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that identified log violations at the company's headquarters in Hickory, North Carolina.

OSHA determined the firings were in violation of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, according to a release.

From Feb. 28 through March 1, 2012, the four employees were interviewed by the FMCSA. On March 8, following the audit and subsequent citations issued against Gaines Motor Lines, the workers suffered adverse retaliation by company officials, including termination, layoffs and removal of employee benefits, according to OSHA.

The settlement requires the employer to pay the four drivers a total of $262,500, which includes all back pay and interest, and compensatory damages.

The settlement also names company owners Tim Gaines and Rick Tompkins, making them personally responsible for paying all the damages if the company goes out of business.

Comments

  1. 1. GREG FOREMAN [ August 20, 2014 @ 07:43AM ]

    This is but one of many examples documented over the past few months illustrating the “dilemma” facing all commercial drivers. Drivers are at the bottom of the pecking order in the logistics ladder and are literally caught in a “catch-22”. They are in a situation where they are dammed from an employment standpoint if they reveal questionable information concerning a companies operations subjecting them to professional retaliation on the part of the company and dammed from an authority standpoint for failing to reveal such information, subjecting the driver to fines suspensions of their commercial license. I realized as much during my brief, 3 years of driving cross country for a major carrier, tenure as a commercial driver. Such conditions leaves CDL drivers open to abuse and extortion. Should we wonder why by and large the typical driver feels little if any loyalty to the company he/she drives for?

 

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