Under state and federal discrimination laws, every organization should keep their working place free from any illegal discrimination and practices. A lot of companies and employers believe they can make harsh decisions on a whistleblower who are trying to expose the fact that the company is doing something wrong and illegal. They’re doing so maybe because they are not aware of the whistleblower protection laws provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, OSHA is a strong program that provides protection to whistleblowers. OSHA’s budget is increased annually as to allow them to do their job effectively, and the current government administration is giving OSHA whistleblower-protection-program a priority.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) offers protection to employees and allows them to use their rights under OSHA. These rights involve filing health and safety complains with OSHA and also getting involved in OSHA inspection. Any employee that reported a violation from an employer or company is protected by the whistleblower regulation which is under OSHA.
The main aim of OSHA is to change the behavior and attitudes of companies and employers towards whistleblowers. This ensures that employees are getting more attention from their employers regarding any discrimination or retaliation due to a safety violation. Employers must also respond and solve the employee’s problem. As a result of the OSHA’s whistleblower program, research shows that there has been a decrease in violations to whistleblower’s complaints.
OSHA enforces laws on employers to provide a safe and healthy working place for employees. Employers don’t have the right to retaliate against any employee regarding any protected activity. Whistleblowers have the right to make complaints to OSHA or any governmental agency concerned about unsafe working conditions in any working place, they have the right to report any environmental problem.
OSHA has about 21 whistleblower laws aimed at protecting whistleblowers at the workplace, the whistleblower protection program enforce these laws and pertain to everyone that reported a violated activity in a given workspace such as airlines, motor carries, consumer product manufacturers, food safety, financial and securities, public transportation, gas and oil pipelines, maritime and railroad laws.
Filing OSHA complaints involve any protected activity by the employee, getting involved in health and safety activities, reporting an injury that’s work-related, making a move to expose any employer or injury record, and filing safety complaints with an employer. Under the OSHA program, an employer doesn’t have the right to take severe action against any employee that tries to expose their wrongdoings, they can’t be fired or denied any employment rights, and the employer cannot blacklist an employee, cannot demote them, or make any threats. Under no circumstances, the employer is allowed to reduce the employee’s salary.
If an employer denies a whistleblower his employment rights he’ll be liable for some damages, OSHA provides coverage to whistleblowers by getting back their reinstatement and employment benefits, wages or any other damages that are caused by an employer. As a whistleblower, you should report immediately to OSHA when there is retaliatory action from an employer. This should be done in less than 30 days from the occurrence of the retaliation by the employer.
The employer doesn’t have the right to take any illegal action against the employer; there shouldn’t be termination of the offer, reduction of hourly rate wage, or denial of promotion. An employee that faces retaliation can report to proper authorities to take care of the situation, of course, the OSHA whistleblower program is included. Employees that face retaliation from employees should report this as soon as possible.
Employers and companies are advised to take note of all the OSHA rules and regulations which is to provide protection to whistleblowers. They must make sure that all their work practices and policies are up to date and they should ensure good management for their employees.
There are a lot of failures to observe safety rules, as well as discrimination and retaliation going on in various workplaces. OSHA is getting more stronger than you can imagine and failure to abide by their rules within your workspace will lead to criminal charges against your company.
As an employee, if you believe your rights have been violated by an employer, you should consult an attorney. Attorneys that specialize in dealing with such practices are the attorneys at Massey and Duffy. Call us now at for a free consultation, if you have been retaliated or discriminated against by your employer or company.