Hess v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., No. 17-1167 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Union Pacific in an action brought by plaintiff under the Federal Railway Safety Act, alleging that he was terminated for engaging in a protected activity. The court held that, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff, a reasonable jury could not find that retaliation for his reporting of his workplace injury was a contributing factor to his separation from employment with Union Pacific. Rather, his employment ended because of his absenteeism and his inability to complete the steps necessary for reinstatement. The court also held that plaintiff did not provide proof by a preponderance of the evidence that his separation from employment with Union Pacific was the result of retaliation for his seeking medical treatment.