Whistleblowers have helped to end health and safety issues in the workplace and helped protect environment by reporting on the illegal practices and policies of the companies they work for. However, many whistleblowers face retaliation in the workplace for bringing problems to the attention of authorities such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Fortunately, federal and state laws offer protections from such retaliatory actions, regardless of the outcome of the investigation. If you are a whistleblower or are considering reporting illegal or dangerous activity within your company, but are concerned about your rights, talk with an employment law attorney.
When you file a complaint regarding certain illegal or unsafe activity, it is unlawful for your employer to retaliate, discriminate against you or harass you. The law protects against a wide range of retaliatory behaviors, including:
- Denying career advancement
- Cutting benefits
- Punitive transfers
Harassment in the form of verbal or physical abuse or other actions creating a hostile work environment are also prohibited.
An Experienced Attorney Can Be a Whistleblower’s Best Resource
If you believe you’re being treated unfairly after reporting a workplace violation, you have a few options. You can report this discrimination or harassment to your supervisor or to human resources, or you can file a complaint with OHSA or other state or federal agency. You can also file a lawsuit.
Determining the right course of action for you can be complicated, and missing a step can put your whole case at risk. In addition, tight deadlines may apply. For example, OHSA requires employees to report discrimination or retaliation for being a whistleblower within 30 days of the retaliatory conduct.
Whistleblowers bring many serious violations to the attention of the public and governmental agencies. If you’ve acted to protect yourself, your co-workers, and perhaps even the public, you deserve to have your rights protected.
The attorneys at Yarian and Associates have the knowledge and experience to help you understand your rights and map out the best course of action. Contact our office today to set up an appointment for a free consultation.