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OSHA orders Norfolk Southern to pay Fort Wayne worker

NORFOLK, Va. – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered Norfolk Southern Corp. to pay more than $1million to three workers who were fired after they reported on-the-job injuries.

The order stems from investigations by OSHA that found the Norfolk-based railroad operator wrongfully fired a crane operator based in Fort Wayne, and a thermite welder and a welder’s helper based in western Pennsylvania.

The agency has ordered the railroad to pay the Fort Wayne worker a total of $437,591.70 in damages.. OSHA has also “ordered the railroad to reinstate the worker to the proper seniority level, with vacation and sick days that he would otherwise have earned,” according to a written statement issued Thursday by the agency.

The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday that Norfolk Southern violated the Federal Railroad Safety Act’s whistleblower provisions.

Norfolk Southern also must expunge the workers’ disciplinary records, train employees on their whistleblower protection rights, and post a notice regarding these rights.

OSHA has issued similar orders in several other whistleblower cases against Norfolk Southern in the past two years.

The Journal Gazette contributed to this story.

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