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Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

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OSHAIn a decision issued December 17, 2013 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has found New Prime, Inc. (“Prime”) “willfully and maliciously put negative and false information” on truck driver Brian Ford’s DAC report. Prime originally noted that Mr. Ford had “Abandonment”, “Unauthorized location”, and “Quit under load” on his DAC report. Ford was unable to obtain employment as a commercial truck driver for approximately 9 months because of the defamatory claims Prime made.

While driving on October 25, 2008 Mr. Ford experienced severe pain stemming from an on the job injury. The pain impaired his ability to safely operate his assigned truck-tractor. Thereafter, he sought medical attention. Ford informed Prime that a Doctor prescribed him narcotics for the pain and was put on a strict work restriction due to his injury. When Ford later sought work he was repeatedly denied employment because of the information Prime had put on his DAC report.

OSHA found that Prime violated the law when it blacklisted Mr. Ford because he refused to operate a commercial vehicle while impaired due to medical conditions and while under the influence of prescribed narcotics.

According to OSHA, Prime claimed that the blacklisting was inadvertent. OSHA was not persuaded by Prime’s defense and ruled in favor of Mr. Ford under Section 405 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) which prohibits retaliation against drivers because they make safety-related complaints or because they refused to drive in violation of commercial vehicle safety regulations.

OSHA ordered Prime to pay Mr. Ford Lost wages, compensatory damage, and punitive damages exceeding $101,000. Prime is also to expunge Mr. Ford’s employment records and his DAC report records leaving him with a clean record of employment under Prime.

Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor of Truckers Justice Center Speaking at 2012 Truck Driver Social Media Convention

Mr. Ford was represented by Paul O. Taylor, an attorney with Truckers Justice Center in Burnsville, MN.

A complete copy of OSHA’s decision can be found by following this link:

The Whistleblower Protection Programs

© 2013 – 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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