Question: May my company fire me, write me up, treat me differently, or favor others if I blew the whistle on my company? I found or know about violations of Federal safety and health regulations relating to commercial motor vehicle safety.
Answer: No, a motor carrier employer may not discharge, discipline or discriminate against an employee regarding pay, terms, or privileges of employment because you did one of the following five actions:
You filed a complaint related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
You began a proceeding related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
You have testified in a proceeding related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
You will testify in a proceeding related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
You refused to operate a commercial motor vehicle, because of one of the following two items.
You would have violated a Federal safety or health regulation.
You had a reasonable apprehension you, or someone
else, would have been seriously injured or impaired had you operated the unsafe
vehicle. You asked your employer to correct the unsafe vehicle's condition,
but your employer refused to correct the unsafe condition.
Question: Who is an employee?
Answer: You are an "employee" if you do any one of the following five types of jobs:
Drive a commercial motor vehicle.
Drive a commercial motor vehicle, as an independent contractor, when you personally operated the commercial motor vehicle.
Repair and maintain vehicles as a mechanic.
Any job for a motor carrier directly affecting commercial motor vehicle safety in the course of employment. The employee cannot be an employee of the United States government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State acting in the course of employment.
Question: What may I do within 180 days of my discharge,
discipline, or discrimination?
Answer: You or another person at your request may file a complaint with the Secretary of the United States Department of Labor.
The Secretary of Labor would prefer you send the complaint directly to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Area Director responsible for enforcement activities in the geographical area where you reside or where you reported for duty. Filing your complaint with any OSHA officer or employee, however, is sufficient, according to 29 CFR 1978.102
Filing of discrimination complaint.
Visit the OSHA web site to obtain the address where you should file your complaint.
Question: What may I do if my discharge, discipline, or discrimination happened more than 180 days ago?
Answer: You may still file your complaint, or another person at your request may file your complaint, with the OSHA Area Director acting on behalf of the Secretary of Labor, but the OSHA Area Director has the discretion to decline your complaint as untimely.
Question: What should I include in my complaint?
Answer: You should include the following five items in your complaint.
Your name, address, and telephone number.
The specific commercial motor vehicle safety regulation in question.
The name of the person who discharged you, or disciplined or discriminated against you.
One or more of the following alleged actions.
I filed a complaint related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
I began a proceeding related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
I have testified in a proceeding related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
I will testify in a proceeding related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
I refused to operate a commercial motor vehicle because of one of the following two items.
I would have violated a Federal safety or health regulation.
I had a reasonable apprehension I, or someone else, would have been seriously injured or impaired had I operated the unsafe vehicle.
I asked my employer to correct the unsafe vehicle's condition, but my employer refused to correct the unsafe condition.
Any other facts, data, and applicable circumstances.
FHWSA Safety Hotline (1-888-DOT-SAFT)
The Motor Carrier Safety hotline is a line of communication available to commercial vehicle drivers to submit reports of actual or potential violations of the federal motor carrier safety regulations.
The line, 1-888-DOT-SAFT (368-7238), is a toll-free number for drivers nationwide to contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
FMCSA Safety Tips for Truck and Bus Drivers
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
The most important part of a moving truck or bus is the driver! Get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel. Eat well and stay fit. Remember, hours of service violations are serious and can threaten your livelihood or even your life. Stay healthy and well rested, or don't drive!
ALWAYS MAINTAIN YOUR VEHICLE
Inspect your vehicle before each trip and check your brakes regularly. Learn how to inspect your brakes, identify safety defects, and get them repaired before risking your life and others on the highway.
BE AWARE OF YOUR "NO-ZONE"
Other drivers may not be aware of the size of your truck's blind spots. Be vigilant in watching out for vehicles in the No-Zone. The No-Zone represents the danger areas, or blind spots, around trucks and buses where crashes are more likely to occur. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in the No-Zone.
SLOW DOWN IN WORK ZONES
Watch out for highway construction. Stay alert. Work zone crashes are more likely to happen during the day. Almost one-third of fatal crashes in work zones involved large trucks. Take your time going through work zones and give yourself plenty of room. Expect the unexpected!
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
Always leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. If you hit someone from behind, you are typically considered "at fault," regardless of the situation. Large trucks require more stopping distances than other vehicles. Take advantage of your driving height, and anticipate braking situations.
FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELT
Buckle up for safety and control. If you are in a crash, a seat belt can save your life and those around you. It will keep you in your seat and allow you to maintain control of your truck or bus. A major cause of truck and bus driver fatalities involves being ejected from the vehicle. Wearing seat belts, is still the single most effective thing all drivers can do to save lives and reduce injures on our roadways.
ALWAYS DRIVE DEFENSIVELY
Avoid aggressive drivers! It's estimated that each year two-thirds of all traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving behaviors. Keep your distance and maintain a safe speed. The only thing speed will increase is your chance for a crash.
WORK TO HELP YOURSELVES
Be the professional on the highway and at safety events! Help stranded motorists; notify traffic safety agencies of crashes, unsafe drivers, unsafe roadway conditions, and other situations that can lead to crashes. Join a "Highway Watch" program, if available in your state. Your participation in public safety events and your performance on the highway can change public perception!
!!!TELL US WHAT IS WRONG!!!
If you know of unsafe situations, tell us about it. This includes unsafe companies, unsafe drivers, unsafe roadways, and unsafe vehicles. The following "hotlines" are maintained for your protection. Please call us to help make the roads safer and your job easier.
FMCSA Driver Hotline: 1-888-DOT-SAFT (368-7238)
NHTSA Vehicle Hotline: 1-888-327-4236
And Last, But Not Least;
Driver`s Rights- OSHA Poster 3113- U.S. Department of Labor