A judge for the US Department of Labor ordered Cargo Express Inc, based out of Boise, ID, to immediately reinstate a driver named Thomas Graff and pay him $90,000 in back wages and punitive damages after he was fired by his company when he refused to drive him truck due to unsafe maintenance issues.
“When he (Graff) refused to drive the truck due to the oil leak and the air leak, he was told by Qualcomm message to either drive the truck or they would find someone else who would,” said Graff’s attorney. “This puts drivers between a rock and a hard spot.”
Despite being told in no uncertain terms that he would be fired if he didn’t continue driving, Graff stood his ground. True to their word, Graff was fired, but the reason the company gave was for not having an adequate number of miles.
Unwilling to be steamrolled, Graff took Cargo Express to court and –on April Fool’s Day!– won his case.
In addition to his reinstatement and monetary compensation, as part of the ruling Cargo Express will have to pay his attorney’s fees and “remove any adverse or derogatory references” on his HireRight (DAC) report.
We all know that when a driver sticks his neck out like this, he gets burned all too often. It’s important to remember that when you’re told to run illegally or put yourself or others in danger, it is absolutely an option to plant your feet and stand your ground. Good on you, Thomas Graff, good on you.