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More than $500,000 to two injured workers

The Denver office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration earlier this week announced that it had ordered Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway to pay more than $500,000 to two former workers. The Texas railroad company must also rehire the pair, pay back wages, attorney fees and compensatory damages, OSHA said.

The firm fired the workers in 2010 and 2011 after they reported workplace injuries that occurred at a company terminal.

The Denver regional OSHA administrator was blunt: "An employer cannot retaliate against employees who report an injury." Far too often, workers fear that their supervisor or employer will cut hours or pass them over for a promotion if they report an on-the-job injury. In some cases, employees are even terminated for reporting an injury.

The fact is, if you’re injured on the job, you’re entitled to Colorado workers’ compensation, but sometimes insurers or employers attempt to deny those needed benefits that include medical treatments and replacement of a portion of lost wages.

Some of the most common injuries that happen on the job include harm caused by falls from heights, lifting heavy objects, involvement in a motor vehicle accident, having an object fall on a worker, repetitive motion and so on.

When a person has been injured at work and then retaliated against on the job, they should blow the whistle to an OSHA representative. However, if they have been injured and then denied workers’ comp, they should speak with an attorney who understands how workers’ compensation hearings are conducted and has experience representing clients at those proceedings. 

Source: OSHA, "Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway ordered by US Department of Labor's OSHA to pay more than $526,000 to terminated workers," May 19, 2014

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