May 26, 2018
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Appeals court upholds whistleblower claim against Maine railway

By BDN staff report, Special to the BDN

PORTLAND, Maine — A federal appeals court has upheld a $260,000 penalty against Pan Am Railways tied to the complaint of a Waterville whistleblower filed in 2011.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Wednesday that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston upheld a department of labor ruling to slap the railroad company with $250,000 in punitive damages.

That order also called for the company to give $10,000 to the employee for compensatory damages related to the complaint.

The penalty ruling stemmed from OSHA’s initial assessment of $10,000 compensation for the employee and a $40,000 penalty against Pan Am. OSHA found the railroad retaliated against the employee “when it charged him with dishonestly” for reporting an injury and unsafe working conditions at the railyard in Waterville, according to a news release.


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