Ohio Carrier to Pay $302,000 in OSHA Case

The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration and an Ohio trucking company settled a civil lawsuit after two drivers claimed they were fired for being whistleblowers, OSHA said.

The Nov. 19 statement from OSHA, a part of the Labor Department, said the now-defunct Star Air Inc. of North Canton; Robert Custer, Star’s owner; and a company the agency said is the successor to Star violated whistleblower protections set up by the 1982 Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

The consent judgment of $302,000 is a 56% reduction from the $685,785 judgment originally awarded by a judge of the U.S. District Court in Akron, Ohio.

“These drivers were fired for trying to protect themselves and the driving public,” said David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. “No truck driver should be forced to drive while tired, sick or in violation of truck weight or hours-of-service requirements,” he said.

OSHA said the case started when one of the drivers was cited for hauling a load without a commercial driver license, operating an overweight trailer and driving without a logbook. An OSHA spokesman said the government did not collect a penalty in the case.

Custer was not available for comment.


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