Two Truck Drivers Awarded $302,000 in Wrongful Termination Suit Against Employer
After two truck drivers were fired for being whistleblowers against their employer’s unsafe company practices, a judge has ordered that they receive $302,000 each after they filed a wrongful termination lawsuit.
The now defunct Ohio-based carrier Star Air, and owner Robert R. Custer, have been ordered to pay $302,000 in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by the US Department of Labor when the company fired two whistleblowers. The two former truck drivers pointed out the company’s OSHA violations, and they were unlawfully laid off.
“These drivers were fired for trying to protect themselves and the driving public,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “No truck driver should be forced to drive while tired, sick or in violation of truck weight or hours-of-service requirements. OSHA will continue to defend America’s truck drivers against unscrupulous employers who unlawfully retaliate against drivers who assert their right to drive safely.”
One of the drivers was stopped in West Virginia for hauling excess weight load without a commercial driver’s license, operating an overweight trailer, and driving without a log book. The vehicle also did not have the name of the company, its home base, or the US Department of Transportation Number displayed.
That driver informed another driver of the issues, because the second driver was working under the same conditions. When they refused to continue driving until the company met OSHA standards, Star Air refused and fired the two employees instead.
The former truck drivers filed complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, alleging that the company had discriminated against them because of whistleblowing activities which are protected by federal law. The complaint was brought forward as a wrongful termination lawsuit.
The two drivers were awarded $302,000, to be paid over a 3 year period, for back wages.
Employment Law and Wrongful Termination in South Carolina
Whether you are dealing with your employer’s failure to pay wages, a wrongful termination, or even a claim of discrimination, you may feel as if you do not have anywhere to turn
South Carolina is an at-will employment state, meaning that you have the right to quit your job at any time for any reason or no reason at all; likewise, your employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no reason at all.
However, an employer cannot fire you for any reason that:
- is illegal or protected under State or Federal law,
- violates the express terms of an implied or express contractual agreement, or
- violates public policy
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Issues of Wrongful Termination
The Employment Lawyers at the Strom Law Firm understand that your job is your livelihood and know what is at stake. If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, based on your agreement with your employer or legal issues surrounding your job, you may have a case. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation. 803.252.4800