News & Analysis as of

Federal Railroad Safety Act

Rail Blocked Crossing Statute Upheld, Departing From Overwhelming Precedent

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Many states and municipalities have (or used to have) laws that limit the amount of time a railroad may block a traffic intersection. Time and again, courts have determined that these laws are preempted by either the...more

N.D. Indiana: Employer Bears Burden of Proving Whistleblower Exhausted Administrative Remedies

On February 1, 2016, the Northern District of Indiana ruled in a case brought under the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) that whether a whistleblower has fulfilled relevant administrative requirements prior to filing suit...more

The Federal Railroad Safety Act — An Employer’s Nonretaliatory Reasons for Discharging an Employee Must Be Considered in Context...

by Lane Powell PC on

The Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) prohibits a rail carrier from retaliating against an employee because the employee engaged in certain activities protected by the statute, including the reporting of a workplace injury....more

Seventh Circuit Sets Groundbreaking Precedent, Reverses FRSA Retaliation Judgment

On October 31, 2016, a $1 million dollar judgment against BNSF Railway Co. evaporated when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit set groundbreaking precedent under the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) and...more

Restoring Decades-Old Precedent, the DOL Blows the Whistle on Fordham's "Fundamental Error"

by Littler on

On Friday, September 30, 2016, U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Administrative Review Board (ARB) issued its highly anticipated decision in Palmer v. Illinois Central Railroad Company, ARB No. 16-035 (2016), correcting its...more

ARB Broadly Interprets Adverse Action Once Again

On November 24, 2015, the ARB adopted an expansive interpretation of what constitutes an adverse action for claims asserted under the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1982 (FRSA), holding that a reduced performance rating with...more

Spring Regulatory Agenda Sets Forth New Deadlines, Proposals

by Littler on

In keeping with past practice, federal agencies released their spring regulatory agendas on the eve of a holiday weekend. These semiannual reports list all of the federal agency regulations currently under development or...more

Railroad Companies Allege Federal Law Governing Petroleum Transport Preempts SB 861

by Stoel Rives LLP on

Railroad transportation of raw petroleum, often referred to as “crude-by-rail,” has received increasing media attention in recent months, due to health and environmental concerns. California took a stab at legislating rail...more

Federal Court in Minnesota Provides Guidance on Non-Injury Retaliation Claims Under FRSA

Granting complete summary judgment to BNSF Railway Co., Chief Judge Michael Davis of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota interpreted and provided the railroad industry with guidance pertaining to the...more

OSHA Penalizes Another Railroad Company In Whistleblower Action

On February 28, 2013, OSHA ordered Union Pacific Railroad (UP) to reinstate the employment of and pay over $309,000 ($150,000 in punitive damages, $87,600 in compensatory damages, $71,700 in back pay with interest, plus...more

OSHA Issues Stiff Penalties To Railroad Company In FRSA Whistleblower Matters

OSHA recently announced that it ordered Norfolk Southern Railway (Company) to pay three former workers a combined $1,121,099 for violating the whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA), which protects...more

District of Idaho: Federal District Courts Lack Jurisdiction to Enforce Preliminary Reinstatement Order

The stakes increase and the landscape changes tremendously in a whistleblower case when the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) issues a preliminary reinstatement order....more

BNSF & OSHA Reach Significant Whistleblower-Related Accord

In January 2013, after over 30 FRSA complaints were lodged by BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) employees, OSHA and BNSF reached an agreement (Accord), where BNSF agreed to modify certain policies and practices alleged to interfere...more

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