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 whistleblower that’s trying to expose something they’re doing wrong. They’re doing so because they’re not aware of the whistleblower protection provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, OSHA is a strong program that provides protection to whistleblowers. OSHA’s budget is increased annually so as to allow them 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, employers must also respond and solve employee’s problem. As a result of the OSHA’s whistleblower program, research shows that there has been a decrease in whistleblower complaints.
OSHA enforces laws on every employer to provide 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 complains 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 any workplace, the whistleblower protection program enforce these laws to everyone that reported a violated activity in any 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 complain 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 complain 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 wrong doings, 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 allow to reduce the employee’s salary.
If any employer deny a whistleblower his employments rights he’ll be liable for some damages, OSHA provide coverage to whistleblowers by getting back their reinstatement and employment benefits, wages or any other damages that’s 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 offer, reduction of hourly rate wage, or denial of promotion. Any 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 as soon as possible.
Employers and companies are advised to take note of all the OSHA rules and regulation which main purpose is to provide protection to whistleblowers. They must make sure that all their working practices and policies are up to date, they should ensure good management between their employees.
There are a lot discriminations going on in various working places and most employers think there is nothing wrong with such practices because they believe they own the working place and they can do whatever they want. OSHA is getting stronger more than you can imagine and failure to abide by their rules within your working space 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 that specialize in dealing with such practices. Call us now at Wassey&Duffey for a free consultation if you have been discriminated by your employer or company.