Cases & Deals

CSXT prevails at trial on FRSA retaliation claim

Client(s) CSX Transportation, Inc.

Following a bench trial, an Administrative Law Judge of the U.S. Department of Labor ruled in favor of Jones Day client CSX Transportation, Inc. ("CSXT") on a Federal Railroad Safety Act ("FRSA") claim regarding a 43-day suspension. Complainant Charles Carter alleged that the company suspended him for reporting safety concerns. CSXT maintained that it suspended Carter for mistreating a co-worker. The judge held that, although Carter reported safety concerns shortly before he was disciplined, he could not show that his report contributed in any way to his suspension. In particular, the judge noted that Carter had a "long history of reporting safety issues to [CSXT] without adverse consequences, and that other employees had reported safety issues . . . without suffering adverse action." Moreover, the judge found that even if Carter had satisfied his own burden of proof, CSXT was still entitled to judgment because the company proved by clear and convincing evidence that it would have suspended Carter even if he had not made safety complaints.

Carter v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 2016-FRS-00046 (Feb. 20, 2018) (Markley, ALJ)