BNSF Railway ordered to pay $12K to employee disciplined for taking doctor-ordered leave

The U.S. Department of Labor says BNSF Railway Co. violated federal law when it disciplined a worker in Iowa who was sick and took doctor-ordered leave.

The department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration says BNSF disciplined a conductor at its Ottumwa station in retaliation for the sick time.

An investigation showed the conductor was ill in December and told his supervisor a doctor ordered him to stay out of work for the remainder of the day. OSHA says the employee was later disciplined for violating BNSF's attendance policy.

The company has been ordered to pay $12,000 in damages, remove disciplinary information from the worker's record and provide whistleblower rights information to its employees. The company can appeal the decision.

A message to BNSF was not immediately returned Tuesday.