Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NOSSA receives complaint re: school bus service

NOSSA - National Organization Of Short Statured Adults, Inc. is in receipt of a complaint regarding a school bus service in Tacoma, Washington.

The complaint alleges:

On March 31,2010 I was hired for a school bus driving position for a school bus service in Tacoma, Wa. I reported for training April 1st and took my D.O.T. physical and passed on Friday, April 2nd. I continued on with my training on April 5th. By April 8th, after driving for two days, the Supervisor in charge was made aware that the seat belt on 'some' of the buses would not fit me properly. The reason the seat belt would not fit was because of my height of 4'9" (4'10" with sneakers). I had to move the seat far forward on this particular bus, and the seat belt would not extend. The Supervisor told me that since the seat belts on some buses would not extend, she could not hire me. I suggested a seat belt extender. She said it was unacceptable and against policy.

I have been a bus driver for almost 10 years (6 of those years driving a school bus), I know a seat belt extender is not a safety infraction nor are they against the law. Many over weight drivers use them.

When you're first hired as a Bus Driver with a big company, you start out on 'stand by'. When a driver is on stand by, they are never assigned the same bus. It is my opinon, this supervisor did not want to do her homework. If a seat belt extender is against policy, she would have to check every bus to see if the belt extended far enough. It was easier to let me go.

NOSSA is contacting the company in hopes of receiving an explanation regarding this situation. We will post a response if one is issued from the company.

*** UPDATE *** NOSSA received the following response from the bus service:

Dear Mr. Hamre, the safety of the children we transport is our top priority. The person in question was not employed by us. While they did attend training for two days, we cannot comment on the decision to not hire them. Respectfully,
General Manager

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