Earlier this year, the Department of Labor affirmed an Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) 2014 decision obtained by our law firm extending protections under the employee protection provisions of the Federal Rail Safety Act (Whistleblower Act). This Act protects employees from retaliation for marking off work due to an off-duty injury or illness. This case was tried to an ALJ by HARRINGTON, THOMPSON attorney Robert B. Thompson and then subsequently briefed before the Department of Labor by Robert E. Harrington, III. [Read more…]
SMART-Transportation Division held its Western Regional Meeting in San Antonio, Texas and Eastern Regional Meeting in New York City in the summer of 2017.
The law firm of Harrington, Thompson, Acker & Harrington, Ltd. was represented at the both meetings with attorneys and investigators who remained present throughout the duration of the week’s activities. [Read more…]
On February 24, 2017, SMART-Transportation Division General Counsel in Cleveland, Ohio along with SMART-TD Designated Legal Counsel Robert E. Harrington, III of Harrington, Thompson, Acker & Harrington, Ltd. filed a federal lawsuit in Illinois seeking injunctive relief against CSX Transportation, Inc.
CSXT Violates Bargaining Agreements By Proposing Replacement of Union Jobs with Untrained Workers [Read more…]
A new Illinois state law passed in August 2016 and which will go into effect on January 1, 2017 clarified conflicting state law on the right-of-way rights afforded to Illinois bicyclists sharing the road.
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 5912, which amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to state that every bicyclist on a “highway” (i.e., road or roadway), should be afforded all the rights of any other vehicle driver, “including, but not limited to” the one’s associated with right-of-way.
SMART-Transportation Division held its Eastern Regional Meeting in Chicago, Illinois from Saturday, July 23, 2016 through Wednesday, July 27, 2016.
The meeting was entirely sold out with all rooms at the Sheraton Hotel at full capacity. The event was a large success due to the tireless work of all the staff at SMART-TD from Cleveland, Ohio.
The railroad history of the US dates back to the 1820’s with the first transcontinental railroad completed in 1869. That’s nearly 200 years of rail transportation in the United States!
During that period of time, much has changed in the American landscape. For the passenger rail industry and U.S. Class I Railroads specifically, there has been tremendous expansion, consolidation and improvements over the years (As of May 2016 U.S. Class I Railroads are line haul freight railroads with 2014 operating revenue of $475.75 million or more). As a result, these railroad advancements have helped pave the way for efficient freight logistics, enhanced rail technology along with improved employment and rail worker safety efforts. [Read more…]
Many workers in the United States are covered by an employer insurance plan for work-related injuries known as workers’ compensation. Railroad workers, on the other hand, are covered by a separate set of protections known as FELA.
Both programs, FELA and workers’ compensation, however, were founded with the common goals of promoting a safe working environment and compensating workers following work-related illnesses and on-the-job injuries.
While some of the goals of the two programs are similar, there are many differences, including: [Read more…]
In 2008, approximately 24% of Americans possessed a social media profile. According to recent studies, that number has increased to approximately 78% in 2016. While different generations use varying social media sites, it is now common place for nearly 4 out of 5 people to have some kind of on-line presence.
Social networking and media sites are designed for people to share many details of their lives in a public forum. Even those who are not interested in sharing on social media are often “tagged” in posts and photos by friends and family. Whether or not that person wants their name and photo in the public domain, more often than not tagged photos are shared in a public space without consent. It is not outside the realm of possibility that a post someone believes is private could be seen by thousands of people. [Read more…]
Railroad Workers in Montana – Injured Non-Resident Workers Can Sue State
In Montana, injured rail workers can sue their employer for injuries that occurred in other states, the Montana Supreme Court ruled in late May 2016. In fact, railroad workers don’t even have to be a Montana state resident in order to file a lawsuit for injuries that occurred outside of the state.
Although FELA, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act, was originally enacted to provide certain protections for railroad workers, including the ability to file out-state lawsuits against companies that do business in a specific state, a recent Montana Supreme Court ruling took that support a step further by providing greater legal plasticity for Montana railroad worker residents and non-residents to file injury claims. While some would say that such a measure equates with the practice of forum shopping, where plaintiffs select a location (country, state, county, judge, etc.) they believe the court will rule in their favor, the ruling and the flexibility it affords are currently still in place. [Read more…]
The SMART-Transportation Division will host its Eastern Regional Meeting in Chicago, Illinois on July 25-27, 2016. Chicago is an ideal location for this year’s regional meeting because it is the largest city in the Midwest and arguably the most important railroad center in North America. More lines of track radiate in more directions from Chicago than from any other city. Chicago has long been the most important interchange point for freight traffic between the nation’s major railroads and it is the hub of Amtrak, the intercity rail passenger system. Additionally, Chicago ranks second (behind New York City) in terms of the volume of commuter rail passengers carried each day. [Read more…]