Whistleblower Law Blog
Truck Driver Awarded Back Pay and Damages in Surface Transportation Assistance Act Whistleblower Claim
Cynthia Ferguson, an independent truck driver with over 15 years of experience, recently prevailed in a retaliation claim against New Prime Inc., a Missouri-based trucking company, under the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA). New Prime terminated Ferguson after she refused to follow its dispatcher’s order to continue driving on a hazardous stretch of mountain road in inclement weather.
The whistleblower provisions in the STAA protect commercial truck drivers who were retaliated or discriminated against because they refused to drive under dangerous conditions. The Department of Labor Administrative Review Board (ARB) found that New Prime directly violated the STAA when it terminated Ferguson. In addition to ordering New Prime to reinstate Ferguson, the ARB awarded her $75,000 in back pay and $50,000 in punitive and compensatory damages.