As an employee, your safety should be on the top of an employer’s list of priorities. When it’s not, however, you may be forced to file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, commonly referred to as OSHA.
OSHA is a government-run program tasked with enforcing various safety and protection laws for employees. Not only are they responsible for finding and disciplining employers who violate regulations, but they also offer a number of protections to employees who “blow the whistle.”
What is a Whistleblower?
Put simply, a whistleblower is an employee who discovers and reports criminal activity, safety violations, and other lapses at their place of employment. Whistleblowers are often targeted by their employers once they’ve filed a complaint, which is why workplace retaliation laws exist.
What is Workplace Retaliation?
Workplace retaliation happens when an employer takes action against an employee that has a negative impact on that person’s life. For example, if you were fired for making a complaint about safety violations to OSHA, you may have a strong case for wrongful termination and workplace retaliation.
Being fired isn’t the only form of workplace retaliation. OSHA also protects you from other negative actions, such as:
- Shift changes
- Denying overtime
- Leaving you out of meetings
- Pay or hour cuts
Under no circumstances should you have to tolerate safety violations, and certainly not workplace retaliation for making a complaint. An employment attorney can help you determine the best course of action going forward if an employer retaliates against you.