Legal Update – January 6, 2021

Practice Point:  First off, Davis, Saunders & Miller Law Firm wishes everyone a Happy New Year!  At DSM, we see that railroad companies sometimes do not train its managers properly about the rights of its own employees.  Just this week, DSM saw where a railroad worker was injured at work, and, while the worker was at the doctor’s office in the waiting room, his manager called him and said:  “Whatever you do, don’t get any prescriptions filled from your doctor.  If you do, you’re on your own and I won’t be able to protect you.”  Two main points here.  First, the manager does not want the employee to get prescription medication because this triggers the railroad’s responsibility to formally report the injury to the Federal Railroad Administration [“FRA”], which is responsible for industry safety.   Second, when the manager told the worker not to fill the prescription that his doctor was ordering, the manager violated the whistleblower protections of the Federal Railroad Safety Act [“FRSA”].  Under the FRSA, 49 U.S.C. 20109 (c)(2), the railroad is prohibited from interfering with the treatment plan of an injured worker’s treating physician, which would certainly include subtly threatening an employee not to fill his doctor’s prescriptions.  For more information, visit our FRSA link at

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