March 4, 2015
Core-Mark International must reinstate, pay more than $230K
to employee fired for voicing driver safety concerns
Worker reports driver who exceeds maximum hours behind the wheel
PHOENIX – An employee who raised concerns that a truck driver employed by Core-Mark International of Phoenix had exceeded the legally allowed maximum number of driving hours must be reinstated immediately and paid more than $230,000 in back wages and compensatory damages, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered.
OSHA found that Core-Mark's owners violated the Surface Transportation Assistance Act's whistleblower provisions when they terminated the employee after he went outside his chain of command in 2011 to report that one of the company's drivers had exceeded maximum driving hours set by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The employee was responsible for routing, dispatching and managing driver performance.
"An employee's right to report safety concerns without fear of reprisal contributes to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all workers," said Barbara Goto, acting OSHA regional administrator in San Francisco. "Employers need to recognize that employees can report safety issues outside of their immediate departments and still be protected from retaliation."
Core-Mark is based in Tolleson and delivers goods to Circle K stores in Arizona and Nevada. The company has filed an objection and requested a hearing before a U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Law Judge.
OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, worker safety, public transportation agency, maritime and securities laws.
Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with the secretary of labor to request an investigation by OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program. Detailed information on employee whistleblower rights is available at http://www.whistleblowers.gov.
Editor's note: The U.S. Department of Labor does not release names of employees involved in whistleblower complaints.
Release Number: 15-161-SAN
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