Gov't: Norfolk Southern illegally fired workers

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Associated Press

Posted on June 18, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 18 at 5:31 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is ordering railroad operator Norfolk Southern to pay more than $800,000 for firing three workers after they reported injuries on the job.

Safety officials say the incidents are part of a larger pattern in which the Norfolk, Va.-based company retaliates against employees for reporting work-related injuries, creating a chilling effect in the railroad industry.

The violations of federal whistleblower laws involved a laborer in Greenville, S.C., an engineer in Louisville, Ky., and a railroad conductor based in Harrisburg, Pa. Payments include back pay, compensatory damages and about $525,000 in punitive damages and attorneys' fees.

A spokesman for Norfolk Southern did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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