CSXT wins dismissal of FRSA claims alleging false injury reporting
Clients CSX Transportation, Inc.
An administrative law judge has dismissed two claims filed by employees of Jones Day client CSX Transportation, Inc. ("CSXT") alleging that they were dismissed in retaliation for reporting an injury, in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act ("FRSA"). The employees were members of a train crew who alleged that the locomotive engineer had fallen on his way to board an outbound train. The employees did not report the fall, or otherwise report any injury, when it occurred. Instead, they reported it the following day, after they returned to the rail yard where it had happened. Based on an internal investigation, the company determined that the injury could not have occurred as the employees stated, and dismissed them both for dishonesty. After discovery and trial, the administrative law judge determined that neither employee had engaged in good faith protected activity under the FRSA, and that in any event CSXT had proven by clear and convincing evidence that it would have dismissed plaintiffs regardless of any protected conduct. Plaintiffs did not appeal the ALJ's decision.
Yoder v. CSX Transportation, Inc., Case No 2014-FRS-00050 (DOL A.L.J.); Howard v CSX Transportation, Inc., Case No 2014-FRS-00052 (DOL A.L.J.) (consolidated)