Employment Protections for Railroad Employees – Federal Railroad Safety Act

We dedicate a significant portion of our practice to railroad employees.  Namely, we represent current employees, past employees, and estates of employees who have died from working for the major railroad companies throughout the United States.  We regularly litigate cases against railroad companies such as Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, and Norfolk Southern Railway.

Injuries that occur on various rails are common.  Usually, employees litigate these through the Federal Employee Liability Act (FELA).

The Federal Railroad Safety Act, 49 U.S.C. Sec. 20109 (FRSA) is another federal statute that protects railroad employees from unlawful employer conduct.  The list of protected employee activity is exhausting.  In general, the Federal Rail Safety Act protects the following:

  • Employees who have been hurt on the job;
  • Employees who report hazardous safety conditions;
  • Employees who cooperate with government agency investigations;
  • Employees who file an OSHA complaint.

Employees are always required to report any suspected violation of the FRSA to OSHA within 180 days.  OSHA will in turn investigate the complaint.  Ultimately, the FRSA provides for the possible following remedies:

  • Reinstatement;
  • Lost Wages;
  • Compensatory damages;
  • Special Damages
  • Punitive damages up to $250,000;
  • Attorney’s Fees;
  • Litigation Costs.

There are many federal laws that are exclusive to railroad employees.  Please contact us for a free review if you are a railroad employee and believe you have been treated unlawfully.