Summary: This article explores some of the nuances of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act’s anti-retaliation provisions, and how they can help you as a transportation employee.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act provides protections for employees who blow the whistle on safety problems on the job. However, those protections do not cover every safety concern or industry, and employees have an extremely short, 30-day window in which to file a retaliation claim with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Fortunately, OSHA also enforces various other more specific whistleblower laws. One important example is the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982. Among other things, that law provided broader protections for a narrower set of people: workers who drive commercial vehicles (including contractors), mechanics on commercial vehicles or employees who otherwise directly affect the safety of those vehicles, and employees who handle freight.