All employees in the U.S. are afforded certain rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) that was passed by Congress in 1970 to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women.” This law includes the right to equal pay, not to be discriminated against in any way, to be properly trained about any safety hazards related to the job in a language you understand, and many other rights related to working conditions and employer requirements.
With only a few exceptions, OSHA regulations apply to employers in both the private and public sectors. It does not apply to industries that are regulated by another federal agency.
In order to effectuate workplace safety, OSHA established ways to inspect places of business as well as a method for employees to report violations when they become aware of them. There are consequences for employers, sometimes severe ones, who break the rules. As a result, employers have been known to retaliate against employees who report them.
Employees who report employer violations to OSHA are called “whistleblowers.” Whistleblowers are protected by more than 20 statutes from any retaliation action that may be taken by their employers. OSHA is the entity that enforces the laws preventing employers from retaliation. If you believe your employer has retaliated against you for being a whistleblower, you need to contact an employment attorney to help you file a claim.
Call the Pollins Law Firm
Attorney Scott M. Pollins is a Philadelphia area whistleblower lawyer who has more than 15 years of experience representing whistleblowers who have been illegally retaliated against. Employers cannot take any action against employees who have alerted OSHA to workplace violations. Specifically, employers are prohibited from:
- Imposing any penalty of any kind
- Denying you a promotion.
- Transferring you.
- Demoting you.
- Blacklisting you with other employers.
- Threatening you in any way.
- Intimidating you.
- Reducing your work hours.
- Denying you a raise.
- Reducing your pay.
- Firing you.
- Decreasing or denying you benefits.
Filing a retaliation or discrimination complaint
OSHA has a provision for employees to file a claim if they believe they have been retaliated or discriminated against for reporting unsafe working conditions or specific violations of OSHA requirements. The claim can be filed by visiting an OSHA office in person, on line or by telephone. The complaint must be filed within 30 days of the act that constituted the retaliation or discrimination. If the claim is filed late, it will be denied.
Other statutes barring retaliation that are enforced by OSHA have varying statutes of limitations. You absolutely do not want to miss the deadline and lose your right to protection from punishment by your employer. You need to contact an experienced employment lawyer, like attorney Scott M. Pollins, who is a Philadelphia whistleblower lawyer, as soon as possible after the retaliation has occurred. Mr. Pollins works with whistleblowers for as long as it takes to obtain compensation when they have been discriminated or retaliated against for reporting unsafe or unfair employment practices.