Union Pacific to Rehire and Pay $325,000 to Injured Worker

Union Pacific Railroad has been ordered to reinstate an employee that was fired after reporting an injury on the job. In addition, Union Pacific must pay $325,000 in damages to the Nebraska employee.

Brian Petersen was an apprentice machinist for Union Pacific when he was injured in 2009. Another employee ran over Petersen’s foot when parking his vehicle and both employees, who were on their cell phones at the time of the accidents, were punished. Two weeks later, Petersen was terminated.

Peterson claimed his termination from UP was illegal, and that he was fired because he suffered a minor injury on the job and filed a report. UP denied this allegation, and claimed Petersen was fired for reasons outside of his injury.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said UP was covering up their actions and ordered in Petersen’s favor, which UP then appealed. An administrative judge at the US Department of Labor then ordered UP to pay more damages than originally sought due to UP being “so openly blatant in ignoring (the law.”. According to the Omaha World-Herald, UP disagrees with the order and plans to appeal, again.

When employees are hurt on the job, it is not uncommon for workplaces to terminate them in retaliation. If you have been wrongfully terminated, our Los Angeles employment and labor law attorneys can help you build your case and gain compensation for your losses, and possibly even your job back. Contact our office today if you feel your termination was unlawful.

Tip of the week: For wrongful termination to occur, an employer must violate a specific state or Federal law, regulation or constitutional provision.

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