I found or know about violations of Federal safety and health regulations relating to commercial motor vehicle safety. May my company fire me, write me up, treat me differently, or favor others if I blew the whistle on my company?

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:

  1. You filed a complaint related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
  2. You began a proceeding related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
  3. You have testified in a proceeding related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
  4. You will testify in a proceeding related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
  5. 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.
  6. A “commercial motor vehicle” means a truck, van or bus that has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of at least 10,001 pounds, or is designed to transport more than 10 passengers including the driver; or is used in transporting hazardous material.

Who is an employee?

You are an “employee” if you do any one of the following five types of jobs:

  1. Drive a commercial motor vehicle.
  2. Drive a commercial motor vehicle, as an independent contractor, when you personally operated the commercial motor vehicle.
  3. Repair and maintain vehicles as a mechanic.
  4. Handle freight.
  5. 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.

What may I do within 180 days of my discharge, discipline, or discrimination?

You or your legal representative may file a complaint with the Secretary of the United States Department of Labor.

What may I do if my discharge, discipline, or discrimination happened more than 180 days ago?

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.

What should I include in my complaint?

You should include the following five items in your complaint.

  1. Your name, address, and telephone number.
  2. The specific commercial motor vehicle safety regulation in question.
  3. The name of the person who discharged you, or disciplined or discriminated against you.
  4. One or more of the following alleged actions.
    1. I filed a complaint related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
    2. I began a proceeding related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
    3. I have testified in a proceeding related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
    4. I will testify in a proceeding related to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety regulation.
    5. 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.
  5. Any other facts, data, and applicable circumstances.