OSHA: Captain fired for calling Coast Guard

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The U.S. Department of Labor says a barge captain working in New Orleans was wrongfully fired for telling the Coast Guard about engine problems with a boat he was steering.

On Monday, the Labor Department said the captain's company, St. James Stevedoring Partners LLC, agreed to pay $245,000 in pay, compensation and attorney's fees to settle the whistleblower case.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the captain's firing and treated him as a whistleblower.

The Labor Department says the captain first alerted the Coast Guard about a faulty starboard engine and was suspended by St. James Stevedoring. He was told not to report problems to the Coast Guard without the company's approval, according to the Labor Department.

The captain reported the same problem again and the company fired him.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)