Your Legal Resource Throughout Eastern Iowa


What Workplace Protections Are Available?

Did you know that you do not have to risk your life to keep your job? Recently, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez, said, “No one should have to sacrifice their life for their livelihood, because a nation built on the dignity of work must provide safe working conditions for its people.”

OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, protects a worker’s right to speak up about violations of safety and health and other laws. OSHA recently investigated the case of a truck driver who was fired for refusing to drive a company vehicle pulled from service by the Iowa Department of Transportation. Iowa commercial motor vehicle enforcement ticketed a Jake Rieger tractor-trailer truck driver for operating an unsafe tractor-trailer truck and lacking proper state registration. The driver was directed to a repair shop, contacted his employer and returned to Nebraska. OSHA’s investigation found that a co-worker drove the employee back to the repair shop in Iowa to retrieve the truck. Jake Rieger Farms LLC told the driver to bring the vehicle, which still lacked proper registration, back to Nebraska and to start driving after law enforcement personnel left the area. When the driver refused, the company immediately fired him and forced him to find his own transportation home to Nebraska, a distance of about 170 miles.

OSHA found Nebraska-based Jake Rieger Farms LLC violated the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982. OSHA ordered Jake Rieger Farms LLC to pay the driver $25,000 in punitive damages and $30,000 in compensatory damages, which includes back wages, repayment for tickets paid by the driver that were issued by the Iowa DOT, attorney fees, transportation back to Nebraska and compensation for distress. “No worker should face termination for complying with federal laws which protect the safety of the motoring public,” said Marcia Drumm, OSHA’s regional administrator in Kansas City. “In this case, Jake Rieger Farms retaliated against an employee who refused to drive a truck that Iowa law enforcement deemed unsafe. His employer fired him on the spot and left him to find his way home to Nebraska. OSHA is committed to protecting the rights of any worker to refuse unsafe and unlawful orders from their employer.”

With additional questions about workers’ compensation, schedule a free initial consultation by calling 319-366-7888, or contact my office online.

Mark L Chipokas, P.C.
4.9
Based on 27 reviews
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Kathy Miller
Kathy Miller
16:31 19 Apr 21
The entire staff treated us with the respect, kindness and consideration throughout our process. We were impressed with... the communication and responsiveness to our questions and concerns. In conclusion we were very comfortable with the end results of our experience. We would recommend Mark Chipokas Law firm.read more
Melissa Barber
Melissa Barber
23:37 04 Mar 21
My husband needed a professional dedicated Workman's Compensation Attorney. When I found Mark Chipokas and his team of... fully experienced legal experts, we knew that they would be standing strong for him. Their professional advice and dedication from all members made us know that we had made the best decision right from the start. 100% Goal was acheive!! Thank you Mark, Polly & Angela for all you have done.read more
Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence
16:18 10 Feb 21
Highly recommend! Mark is not only professional, he is personable and takes the time to know his clients. We always... felt that our concerns were valued and that Mark had our best interests at heart. Additionally, we always knew how our case was progressing and were encouraged to ask questions about the legal process. In a world where most people are out for themselves, it’s good to know there are still people like Mark Chipokas out there who are ethical and fighting for the right reasons.read more
Tricia McAtee
Tricia McAtee
17:47 04 Feb 21
I highly recommend Mark. I went to Mark when my workers comp issue ran into to problems. He was able to help me get... things resolved. He has a awesome team in Angela and Polly!read more
Andrea Baker
Andrea Baker
10:14 05 Sep 20
After being injured on my job and following their every step through physical therapy and still not having the end... results I needed. I contacted Mark and after my meeting with him and his very concerned and gracious team I felt that making Mark my lawyer was going to be the best for me to get the help I needed. It took 1 year of frustration to get my work company to get me the care I deserved. If it wasn't for him and his team fighting for what was right I would have never been able to get the surgery done. I appreciate him and his staff for listening to me when I emailed, called or even stopped in.read more
Amy Johnson
Amy Johnson
01:20 10 Jul 20
Mark, Polly and Angela have been there for my husband and I from day one. They have been by my side through every... twist and turn in the alternate universe known as worker’s compensation law. Mark has always been readily available on the phone and in person if I had any questions or concerns. Mark has truly been a God send and I don’t believe I would have had the same outcomes without him. When I thought I had no fight left he was there to fight for me. Because of that fight Mark was able to get me a settlement that has truly been life changing for my family.read more
Hans Cordes
Hans Cordes
22:47 30 Jun 20
Mark and his team did an amazing job for me, I'm out of state with a time change and Mark ,Angela and Polly all worked... hard at staying in touch with me and keeping me informed every step of the way, I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to help me out. Thanks Mark and all your great teamread more
Joe Larue
Joe Larue
01:42 18 May 20
Everyone at the office was pleasant to work with. They all listened, and were great at getting back to me in a timely... manner. Mark worked hard for me and for what he believed was right and fair. I would and will recommend him to anyone who need a amazing attorney.read more
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