Whistle-blower Act and Semi-Truck Drivers
Protections Available for Workers in Commercial Transport Who File a Complaint
Every business that involves driving commercial vehicles is subject to a series of rules and regulations. These rules are aimed at limiting driver fatigue and other potential dangers from over-worked drivers. Truck drivers and other workers in the transportation industry are very familiar with the rules and safety regulations that govern their industry like:
- Limits of how many total hours you can work per day
- Limits of how many hours you can drive in a row
- When a 30 minute break is required
- The 60 hours in 7 day rule
- The importance of accurate reporting on the trucker’ log book
Unfortunately, there are times when these rules are bent or even broken to protect the company’s profits and results. As an employee, it can be very difficult to report violations for fear of backlash or payback from other workers or your employer. The Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) aims to protect workers who report violations, commonly referred to as “whistle-blowers”.
If you reported wrong-doing in your trucking or transportation company and are being treated unfairly as a result, contact me immediately.
Common Questions And Answers About Truck Driver & Commercial Transportation Employee Whistle-blower Protection
- What employees are covered by the STAA?
It’s not just the drivers of commercial vehicles; the mechanics, freight handlers, and any other employee involved in the safety and security of a commercial vehicle.
- What Types of Activities are Protected from Retaliation?
Reporting any violation by your company is protected. But you don’t have to be the person who reported it to be protected. Anyone who cooperates with an investigation, or provides information to aid the investigation is also protected.
- What is Retaliation?
Retaliation can come in a variety of forms; it’s not always as clear-cut as being fired. Retaliation can be any one, or a combination of more than one, of the following:
- Firing, being laid off
- “Blacklisting” or any other type of intimidation
- Reassignment to a new department or location
- Denying Benefits
- Failing to Hire or Re-Hire
- Is there a deadline for filing a Whistleblower complaint?
There is a deadline; it’s 180 days from either the day of the retaliation event occurred, or when the employee became aware of it.
- As a Whistleblower, do I need to hire an attorney?
You do not NEED to hire an attorney, however, having an advocate on your side to protect your rights and greatly increases the likelihood that your claim is resolved in the best possible outcome.
Robert can explain how the financial end of handling the case works to you in a consultation. We have offices in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans.