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The Illinois Central Railroad and the Chicago, Fort Wayne, and Eastern Railroad have been ordered by OSHA to pay three workers a total of $650,729 in back wages and damages for retaliating against them for reporting safety concerns.

According to an article at, OSHA found that Illinois Central violated the law by retaliating against two employees in separate incidents at the Markham Railroad Yard. The first employee, a conductor, was knocked unconscious and sustained injuries while switching railcars in the yard. A connection between the cars allegedly broke, causing the cars to jolt and the worker to fall. The railroad held a hearing into the matter and then terminated the conductor.

In another instance, a car man reported an injury sustained while walking along a platform to inspect cars in the poorly lighted yard. The worker slipped on ice and tried to catch himself. He was also terminated following an investigation.

In the third incident, a Chicago, Fort Wayne, and Eastern conductor was fired after raising concerns about workplace safety while serving in a leadership role of the union.

OSHA recently signed an agreement with the Federal Railroad Administration to facilitate the enforcement of FRSA’s whistleblower provisions.

Posted by Gordon, Elias & Seely, a FELA lawyer and railroad injury lawyer blog that publishes train accidents and FELA legal news from across the United States.

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