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Unfair Discipline by Union Pacific Expunged

Note: This case is currently on appeal

In this case complainant alleged that UP violated 49 U.S.C.§§ 20109(a)(1(C) and (b)(1)(A) by threatening to and removing or suspending him from service because he insisted on and reported to UP violent and threatening conduct by conductor, against him on July 14, 2012 . As a result of filing this report UP removed him from service resulting in a loss of wages. In addition, on July 27, 2012, UP pressured Complainant into signing a waiver of his rights to a hearing by telling him if he did not accept this waiver “negotiated by UP with Complainant’s union” which provided for, among other sanctions including immediate termination but reinstatement as a probationary employee with loss of pay during his suspension, UP, who controlled the hearing, could still terminate and not reinstate him.

Complainant contended that he engaged in protected activity by filing his July 14, 2012 report because in so doing he reasonably believed he had reported to UP a violation of federal law, rule, or regulation related to railroad safety or security by Conductor for which UP should not have but did retaliated against him thereby causing him to lose wages and suffer out of pocket expenses, mental anguish, attorney fees, litigation expenses, punitive damages, pre and post judgment interest, and negative information being placed in his personal file.

Settlement

The judge in the case ordered that the unfair discipline be expunged. In addition, complainant was awarded monetary damages to cover backpay, travel expenses, mental anguish and attorney's fees. Union Pacific appealed the decision and the complainant also appealed since punitive damages were not addressed in the decision. Jerry Easley of Rome, Arata and Baxley LLC handled the case for the injured conductor.

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