December 5, 2013: For the second time this year, a feeder driver in St. Louis has won $100,000 plus back pay and benefits for company violations of DOT regulations and firing drivers who are whistleblowers.
UPS Teamsters are feeling some holiday joy at the Earth City Mo hub this week. Tim Bishop has returned to his feeder job 2½ years after he was illegally fired by UPS.
UPS was ordered to pay Bishop more than $100,000 in back pay, along with back pension and health and welfare, and another $100,000 in mental pain and emotional distress. UPS also has to pay the fee of Bishop’s attorney, Paul Taylor.
Bishop was fired for recording his time waiting at the meet-and-turn point as on duty time. Management told him to watch his equipment, but to record his time as off-duty (his meal break), a violation of DOT regulations.
Under DOT rules, a driver cannot be directed to log off-duty unless he is fully relieved of any work or equipment responsibility.
Bishop was shut out in the grievance procedure which upheld his termination. But he won big before an Administrative Law Judge: the judge's decision.
It’s the second big case won by St. Louis feeder drivers; Local 688 feeder steward John Youngermann won $100,000 in punitive damages for being suspended for adhering to DOT safety regulations.
Tim summed it up this way –
“I think when UPS fired me, they thought I would just walk away. Well that didn’t happen, thanks to the support I got from my steward, John Youngermann and retired feeder driver Bob Wittman. TDU put me in touch with attorney Paul Taylor and I couldn’t have asked for better advice.
“I stood up to UPS on safety issues but it was great to know I had Paul Taylor standing with me. He treated me like family and I knew he always had my back. With lawyers like Paul, and an organization like TDU, working Teamsters have a fighting chance when companies do us wrong. We need to stand strong for what’s right because that’s what being in a union is all about.”
Credit goes to Tim and John for standing up for Teamster rights and safety.
For more information on drivers’ safety rights under federal law, order a copy of the STAA Handbook, a TDU guide.
Attorney Paul Taylor of the Truckers' Justice Center has provided many Teamster drivers with expert legal advice and assistance on truck safety rights and violations. Contact him at paul.taylor [at] truckersjusticecenter.com or call TDU at 313-842-2600.