OSHA orders $24K paid in hours of service complaint
November 19, 2021
•Land Line Staff
A crane rental company has been ordered to pay nearly $24,000 in an hours of service case.
According to U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Houston-based Crane Masters Inc. retaliated against an employee on June 5, 2020, after the employee refused to compromise Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours-of-service regulations.
The employee had worked 19 hours the day before and could not get the federally required time off before returning to work, according to an OSHA news release. When the employee refused to work the second day, the company fired him.
OSHA has ordered the crane rental company to pay the driver nearly $14,000 in back wages, interest and compensatory damages, and $10,000 in punitive damages.
“Crane Masters Inc. punished a driver who refused to jeopardize their safety and that of others on the road by violating federal laws that restrict how many hours a truck driver may operate a commercial vehicle each day,” OSHA Regional Administrator Eric Harbin in Dallas said in the news release. “Commercial truck drivers, mechanics and other workers are critical to our nation’s transportation infrastructure and our economy, but they should never be forced to put themselves or others at risk because of an employer’s concern for profit, or fear retaliation for exercising their legal rights.”
Crane Masters provides hydraulic truck cranes and rigging services to several industries, including construction, oil and gas, freight transportation and chemical manufacturing. It has operated for 20 years and serves the greater Houston area.
The U.S. Labor Department does not release the names of employees involved in whistleblower complaints. OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of more than 20 whistleblower statutes. For more information on whistleblower protections, visit OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Programs webpage. LL