Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Metro-North Railroad: Administration of Employee Claims for Work-Related Injuries

The Metro-North Railroad (Metro-North) provides commuter transportation services between New York City and nearby areas in New York State and Connecticut. Because Metro-North is engaged in interstate commerce, Metro-North employees who are injured on the job are covered by the Federal Employers Liability Act rather than by workers' compensation laws. As a result, these employees are not paid set compensation rates for work time missed because of injury; instead, they negotiate payments with Metro-North and, if the negotiations are unsatisfactory, they may pursue injury claims in civil court. For the three years ended December 31, 1994, about $38 million in payments were made by Metro-North as a result of these injury claims and lawsuits. We examined the procedures used by Metro-North to minimize work-related injuries and found that steps had not been taken to correct unsafe conditions that had resulted in accidents, and employees had not been counseled even though they were involved in accidents caused by safety violations. We also examined the procedures used to prevent excessive claim payments. We found that injury claims were not thoroughly investigated and the reasons for the amounts paid to employees often were not adequately documented. We made several recommendations aimed at improving Metro-North's procedures relating to on-the-job injuries.

For a complete copy of 95-S-55 click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.