How Does FRSA Protect Railroad Workers? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

According to a factsheet distributed by OSHA, the Federal Railroad Safety Act, or FRSA, exists to ensure that “individuals working for railroad carriers and their contractors and subcontractors are protected from retaliation for reporting potential safety or security violations to their employers or to the government.”

Protected activities under FRSA include, but are not limited to,

  • Reporting injuries
  • Reporting unsafe conditions and practices
  • Filing claims for injury or illness compensation and damages
  • Refusing to perform dangerous tasks without proper safeguards
  • Assisting with an investigation into unsafe conditions and practices
  • Assisting with investigations into alleged violations of laws and regulations
  • Refusing orders to violate laws or regulations

Because of FELA, no one who performs any work for a railroad corporation can be fired, demoted, reassigned, threatened or disciplined for engaging in protected activities. A company that does retaliate against a whistleblower can be sued for reinstatement, lost wages and monetary damages.