The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has determined that a crane and rigging services provider violated federal law by firing a company truck driver on June 5, 2020, for refusing to exceed safe driving limits set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

An investigation determined the driver employed by Crane Masters Inc. told their employer that, after working 19 hours on June 4, 2020, it would be unsafe for them to operate a commercial vehicle as they had not gotten the legally required amount of time off before returning to work. The Houston company responded by terminating the driver.

OSHA found the company fired the employee illegally for exercising their protected rights under the federal Whistleblower Protection Program, and the department's Regional Solicitor in Dallas presented its case during a formal hearing in Houston on Oct. 14, 2022.

On May 13, 2024, the judge issued a decision upholding OSHA's findings and ordered Crane Masters to pay the former truck driver $14,945 in back pay, interest and compensatory damages. The company must also expunge the former employee's record and post a notice to employees.