WWarning Letter from Greyhound Bus Lines to Lewis Seals for "Booking Off" Fatigue

Warning Letter from Greyhound Bus Lines to Lewis Seals for "Booking Off" Fatigue

Blog Sunday, 18 June 2017 23:07
Greyhound Bus Lines supervisors have an "impossible" task. They must make sure that the Greyhound buses go out on time and that each schedule has a bus driver assigned to it. Greyhound Bus Lines look at many different factors to determine if a supervisor is doing their job proficiently. One of these factors is to make sure that the supervisor contacts a Greyhound Bus driver or attempts to contact them, if the driver has “booked off.” Booked off simply means that the driver called in and is unavailable to work because of fatigue or being sick.
 

 Greyhound supervisors are also motivated to have a full staff to minimize complaints. Greyhound Bus Lines passengers can become angry and upset if they are held at the bus terminal for long periods of time. This can become frustrating for anyone, if you had to deal with complaints from individuals about issues outside of your control. Greyhound Bus Lines supervisors use different tactics to make sure that their complement is full, but some of these tactics are against the law.

 

Meeting before the warning letters

On or about July 18, I had a meeting with Greyhound supervisors Sherryl Tucker and Faye Willis. I requested to have a leave of absence, and it was denied. I asked both Sherryl Tucker and Faye Willis what did I need to do to get a leave of absence. I explained to them that I was getting harassed by fellow drivers and needed a month off from work. The reason for the harassment was due to Greyhound Bus Line policy of, “On-Time Performance.” A select group of drivers believed that because I was making it to my destinations on time or before time that I was taking money off their route. In essence, they believed I was stealing money from them. This is a complex issue to explain, but it goes back to Greyhound Bus Lines not paying their employees fairly. After being denied, I ask both of them if I needed to write a letter in order to get the leave of absence. Sherryl Tucker stated that it is the “nature of the beast," and it would be the same when I came back.

In the warning letter, Faye Willis quotes Sherryl Tucker, “Sherryl Tucker told you that it would be irresponsible of her to give you that time off because it will not be good for the company.”

A copy of this letter has been uploaded to the “repository of documents” here.

 

Greyhound policy on unpaid leaves

According to the agreement between Greyhound Lines, Inc. and the Amalgamated Transit Union, “Employees may be granted an unpaid leave of absence of up to 90 days without loss of seniority. Longer leave may be granted if mutually agreed to by the Company and the Union. Employees requesting leaves under this provision must submit a written request to their supervisor and will specify that the request for leave be under this provision.”

I was not granted a “leave of absence” but in compromise, both Sherryl Tucker and Faye Willis gave me a “few days” off work. It is not uncommon for a Greyhound Bus driver to work weeks without getting a day off. After working a “long stretch of days,” I booked off “fatigue” because I could not safety operate a Greyhound bus.

 

OSHA complaint and notice letter to Greyhound

In the Lewis Seals’ complaint to OSHA he writes:

On August 4, 201, Faye Willis, driver supervisor for Greyhound Bus Lines, Inc., issued Complainant two letters of warning for using fatigue as a subterfuge to avoid work (absenteeism). It is believed that Willis issued the letters of warning because she thought Complainant’s claim of fatigue was a suspicious pretense to get more time off. The two letters arrived on the same day and they were threatening in nature. The letters stated that Complainant was to report to a meeting at the Memphis terminal with union representation......

Thus Complainant alleges that Greyhound Bus Lines, Inc. violated the STAA’s employee protection provisions when it issued him two warning letters for refusing to drive due to fatigue. Complainant asserts that “booking off” fatigue is reasonable, and that he engaged in STAA protected activity according to, “Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation 392.3” that states, “No driver shall operate a motor vehicle nor can a motor carrier require or permit a driver to operate a motor vehicle, while the driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired. [sic]” Accordingly, Greyhound Bus Lines, Inc. issued the two warning letters not based on a good faith mistake of fact but on the doctrine of “unclean hands.” The letters had an effect on Complainant’s pay, terms, and conditions of employment; it did qualify as discipline, discrimination, and harassment.

A copy of Lewis Seals’ OSHA complaint can be read here.

The law behind The Surface Transportation Assistance Act can be read in a letter that was written to Faye Willis after Greyhound Bus Lines refused to let Lewis Seals come back to work after “booking off” fatigue.

The notice letter to Greyhound Bus Lines can be read here.

 

Lewis Seals

Years of dealing with the absolute “corruptness” of the United States government I have found that there is only an “illusion” of fairness.

Website: https://lewisseals.com/

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