Carrier ordered to pay $90,000 to driver after coercion, wrongful termination

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A Department of Labor judge has ordered Cargo Express to pay a driver deemed wrongfully terminated $90,000 in back pay and punitive damages after he sued the carrier for firing him in retaliation for refusing to drive a truck that did not comply with safety standards.

Judge Lee J. Romero said that the Boise, Idaho-based carrier did not fire any other drivers during the the time period for not running enough miles, and he also is making Cargo Express to reinstate T.J. Graff as a driver.

Graff was originally fired in June 2010 after he refused to drive the truck assigned by Cargo Express when he found an oil leak and an air leak.

According to documents released by the court, Graff’s lawsuit was brought under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, which prohibits carriers from terminating or discriminating against drivers who express concern over violations or safety regulations or refuse to operate a vehicle because of them.

Click here to see the Department of Labor’s documents regarding the case.