The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to “facilitate coordination and cooperation” between the two agencies concerning the anti-retaliation provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA), 49 U.S.C. § 31105, and the anti-coercion provision, 49 U.S.C. § 31136(A)(5). The STAA shields drivers of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), including independent contractors, from termination, discipline or other retaliation for reporting or engaging in protected activity regarding CMV safety, health or security conditions. The anti-coercion provision gives the Secretary of Transportation authority to prescribe regulations to ensure that a CMV driver is not forced to operate a CMV in violation of federal safety regulations. The Memorandum provides for the exchange of safety, coercion and retaliation allegations that are received by one agency, but are under the purview of the other agency, and sets forth the process for doing so.
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