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Railroad Law: Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA)

Federal Rail Safety Act

The Federal Rail Safety Act was enacted “to promote safety in every area of railroad operations”. 49 U.S.C. 20101. Congress passed amendments in 2007 expanding the protections of employees under the anti-retaliation provisions with enforcement through the Department of Labor.

A railroad carrier “may not discharge, demote, suspend, reprimand, or in any other way discriminate against an employee if such discrimination is due, in whole or in part to the employee's engagement in one of numerous protected activities”. Examples of protected activity includes notifying a railroad carrier of a work-related personal injury or work-related illness.

Complaints must be filed within 180 days to OSHA for an investigation and  hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Additionally, after 210 days have passed, a lawsuit may be filed in federal court with a jury trial.


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