Overdrive Magazine

January 2020

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12 | Overdrive | January 2020 N E W S The U.S. Department of Labor announced in November it is fining UPS after an investigation revealed that managers allegedly retaliated against a UPS Freight truck driver who refused to drive a truck without an electronic logging device. UPS said it is contesting the fines because the situation was resolved through other channels. DOL's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ordered the Atlanta-based com- pany to pay the driver $15,273 in compensatory damages, $30,000 in punitive damages and about $2,700 in back wages plus interest. OSHA alleged that UPS violated the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) last March when it fired the unnamed driver based at the com- pany's facility in Londonderry, New Hampshire. OSHA said the driver's supervisor was not trained on ELD requirements and that company managers attempt- ed to coerce the driver into violating ELD regulations. The driver allegedly was fired for "gross insubordina- tion" after he told his managers he wouldn't drive unless his truck was equipped with an ELD or a mount- ing device for a portable ELD. UPS later modified the termination to a suspension. UPS said that it reported the driver's concern to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and reached a settlement with the agency, then worked with the local union to reinstate the driver without loss of pay. The company said it is contesting the decision by OSHA since it already had resolved the issue with FMCSA. OSHA also required UPS to clear the driver's personnel file of any ref- erence to the situation, post a notice informing employees of their whistle- blower protections, refrain from fir- ing or discriminating against employ- ees who engage in STAA-protected activity, and not use a driver's refusal to drive because of a good faith con- cern that doing so would violate a federal regulation as a contributing factor in a termination decision. — Matt Cole UPS FINED AFTER DRIVER COERCION INCIDENT The U.S. Food and Drug Administration added clarification to its stance regarding products contain- ing cannabidiol, or CBD. FDA issued warning letters to 15 companies it says are illegally selling such products. The agency said that "based on the lack of scientific information sup- porting the safety of CBD in food, the FDA is also indicating today that it cannot conclude that CBD is gen- erally recognized as safe … for its use in human or animal food." FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy said, "We remain concerned that some people wrongly think that the myriad of CBD products on the market, many of which are illegal, have been evaluated by the FDA and deter- mined to be safe, or that trying CBD 'can't hurt.' " Abernethy said that only "one prescription drug approved to treat two pediatric epilepsy disorders" has gotten FDA's approval. The remain- der of CBD products, she said, "have not been approved by the FDA, and we want to be clear that a number of questions remain regarding CBD's safety – including reports of products containing contaminants, such as pesticides and heavy metals – and there are real risks that need to be considered." — Overdrive Staff FDA issues CBD safety, legality warnings

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