Understanding Your Rights As An OSHA Whistleblower
Have you ever been in a situation where you identified an unsafe condition in the workplace? However, after bringing it to the attention of your employer, they did not take any steps to resolve the situation. As a result, you decide to report this violation to the OSHA, but upon finding out the cause of action you took, your employer retaliated in a manner that affected you adversely.
In this situation, you can exercise your rights as an OSHA whistleblower.
How the OSHA Protects Workers
The OSHA protects workers who have made a complaint about unsafe working conditions from being fired, denied a promotion , being threatened or having any other adverse action taken against them as a result of their report.
If you refuse to perform a job due to an unsafe condition, you have the right as long as these conditions are fulfilled:
- A reasonable person would find that the condition is unsafe.
- You have brought the unsafe condition to the attention of your employer, but they have taken no steps to resolve it.
- The situation is sufficiently urgent that there is no other channel you can go through besides refusing to perform the work.
Under this scenario, you have the right to file a complaint with the OSHA if your employer has retaliated against your refusal to perform the work.
Filing a Claim As a Whistleblower
Have you been on the receiving end of unfavorable employment action after filing a report? Below are just some ways this can play out:
- Being fired, suspended or demoted
- Having your hours or pay reduced
- Being denied a promotion or overtime
- Threats or intimidation
- Being reassigned to another position without cause
- Being offered an incentive in exchange for not reporting an injury
Once the violation has been committed, you have a limited time range within which to file a claim for protection. Depending on the specific action this has occurred, this is usually between 30 to 180 days.
Once the claim has been received and OSHA officials have determined that it’s valid, you and your employer will be encouraged to reach a settlement. If a settlement is unable to be reached, the OSHA can step in and order that the employer take a certain action, whether that is rehiring a worker who has been wrongfully terminated or paying them the wages and benefits they are owed. However, the employer has the right to contest this order.
Come to Carcich O’Shea for Legal Assistance
Have you been the victim of retaliatory action by your employer? Your rights are protected as an OSHA whistleblower. If you are unsure of the next course of action to take, you have come to the right place. at Carcich O’Shea, LLC. Let us carry out thorough workplace investigations to determine the best legal route ahead. If filing an OSHA claim is in your best interests, we will assist you every step of the way. Other practice areas we specialize in include family medical leave, employment contracts and employment litigation. Please contact our team today to kickstart an initial consultation.