September 2, 2014

Mo. Supreme Court rules FELA awards not taxable

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In cases brought by the law firm of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP of St. Louis on behalf of injured railroad workers, two courts have ruled favorably to workers that FELA judgments are not subject to tax withholding under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA). The Missouri Supreme Court in Mickey v. BNSF Railway Co., [...]

Justice Department weighs in on BNSF appeal

The U.S. Justice Department is weighing in on an appeal by BNSF railroad over a $145,000 judgment to a former employee hurt on the job, saying a judge’s order to pay the full amount without deducting federal railroad retirement taxes could be “harmful to the United States because … it may interfere with federal tax [...]

SEPTA fails in backdoor attempt to escape FELA

It is no secret that railroads have tried with all their king’s horsemen and all their king’s men (and women) to send to the dust bin of history the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), considered the best friend of rail workers in forcing carriers to improve workplace safety. That 1908 law allows railroaders to recover [...]

Supreme Court declines to weaken FELA

WASHINGTON — In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court June 23 declined to tighten the standard of proof injured rail workers must demonstrate to win an award under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). The ruling is a significant victory for injured rail workers. The FELA — a railroader’s most cherished workplace safety assurance — [...]

Collective-bargaining defense goes nationwide

Throughout America Monday, UTU members joined with brothers and sisters across craft and industrial lines in We Are One rallies reinforcing labor solidarity and raising public awareness of mean-spirited attacks on collective bargaining rights by right-wing extremists. The word went forth that labor will not stand passive as anti-union zealots elected to state legislatures seek [...]

Supreme Court to hear attack on FELA

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will hear an argument by CSX in 2011 challenging standards for rail workers bringing lawsuits under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), reports Bloomberg. The decision could affect future FELA cases. The specific case to be heard, reports Bloomberg, involves a CSX engineer who won a $184,250 FELA award for [...]

We busted the pattern!

By Mike Futhey UTU International President Brothers and Sisters: The tentative national agreement with BNSF, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific, which you will vote on soon, was hammered out in an intense two-day bargaining session Jan. 22-23 because the carriers recognized the unity the UTU brought to the negotiating table. Equally [...]

Proving negligence under FELA

FELA Update By Mark Allen Coordinator of UTU Designated Legal Counsel The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) was enacted by Congress in 1908 to give railroad employees the right, under federal law, to recover damages from their employers for injuries occurring at work. However, generally, there must be proof of negligence on the part of [...]

Must I see doctors chosen by the railroad?

FELA Update By Mark Allen Coordinator of UTU Designated Legal Counsel I frequently hear about injured railroad workers who are confused by statements made to them by railroad claims department persons or supervisors that if they don’t see doctors chosen by the railroad, their medical bills won’t be paid. Let’s be clear. You have the [...]

What are my rights if I’m injured in a hired van?

By Mark AllenCoordinator of UTU Designated Legal Counsel Railroad workers sometimes jokingly say they spend more time in vans than trains as railroads transport their workers using contract limousine services. As agents of the railroad, these companies may be held to the same legal standard as the railroad if their negligence causes injuries. It is [...]