Brock v. Roadway Express, Inc.

RESPONDENT: Roadway Express, Inc.
LOCATION: Apartment of Hicks

DOCKET NO.: 85-1530
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1986-1987)

CITATION: 481 US 252 (1987)
ARGUED: Dec 03, 1986
DECIDED: Apr 22, 1987

Andrew J. Pincus - on behalf of Appellants
Michael C. Towers - on behalf of Appellee

Facts of the case

This case study is centered around a disagreement, the major cause of which was a whistleblower statute. A certain whistleblowing thesis from the Surface Transportation Assistance Act was enforced after the complaint of the worker. The employee from the transportation unit lamented the dismissal caused by the fact of whistleblowing.

The complaint was reviewed by the secretary, who had carried out an investigation and thus decided in favor of the employee. The examination has shown many valid reasons to believe the claims of this employee. Consequently, there was issued an order, according to which the employer was forced to deposit the worker back on the payroll. The company had the right to dispute the decision of the judges, but until then, they had to give him compensation.

As it was stated in the case brief, the employers were very dissatisfied with this provision of the statute. They claimed that such condition of the statute was unconstitutional as it did not allow them to follow the procedural due steps in a proper manner. Whereas Roadway Express fired the driver for unethical behavior, the OSHA enforced an interim continuation of employment on the grounds of whistleblowing.

The complete court hearing came about after nineteen months. Although the judges on the District Court took the side of the Roadway, the Supreme court reverted this decision via certiorari. According to the judges, the error of the District Court was in the fact that they did not hold a full trial before the dismissal, hence deprived the worker of his 5th Amendment right.


Media for Brock v. Roadway Express, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 03, 1986 in Brock v. Roadway Express, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - April 22, 1987 in Brock v. Roadway Express, Inc.

Thurgood Marshall:

The last case Brock versus Roadway Express Incorporated is in appeal from the judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Which court held unconstitutional Section 405 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

We hold today that the Act does not deprive the employer of due process by failing to require the full evidentiary hearing before the temporary reinstatement is ordered.

So long as the employee is given an opportunity to respond to the Secretary's evidence and the prompt postreinstatement hearing is available.

We therefore affirm in part and reverse in part.

Justice Blackmun, Justice Powell and Justice O'Connor have joined this opinion; Justice Brennan has filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part; Justice Stevens has filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part in which the Chief Justice and Justice Scalia join; Justice Steven has filed an opinion dissenting in part.