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Formella v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, 09-2296

By FindLaw Staff on December 10, 2010 2:30 PM

Truck driver's petition for review of an ALJ's decision in favor of his former employer

Formella v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, 09-2296, concerned a plaintiff's petition for review of an administrative review board's (ARB) decision sustaining an administrative law judge's (ALJ) conclusion that plaintiff was not terminated because he refused to drive a vehicle that he believed to be unsafe but rather because of his conduct in expressing his concerns.


In denying the petition, the court held that the ALJ's factual determination that the employer fired plaintiff not because refused to drive the truck assigned to him but  because he was insubordinate and disruptive in expressing his safety concerns is supported by substantial evidence.  The court also held that, although the plaintiff was entitled to some leeway for inappropriate behavior in expressing his concerns, the ARB was neither illogical nor arbitrary in sustaining the ALJ's determination that plaintiff exceeded that leeway in provoking and antagonizing his superiors.

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