Employees who report hazardous working conditions and employer wrongdoing possess a wide range of legal protections from retaliation. OSHA has released a new revision of the online whistleblower complaint form to help ensure that complaints are filed with the appropriate federal agency so that all concerns can be addressed promptly.
Employers are responsible for providing a healthy and safe environment for the employees who work for them. This was mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA’s authority complements this legislation and is supported by 22 statutes. These whistleblower provisions include laws pertaining to every sector of the economy and regulating securities, workplace safety and consumer protection. Workers are protected from workplace retaliation by federal law against “adverse actions” as defined by federal statutes. These are designed to allow workers to raise safety concerns and report injuries without fear of consequences that could affect their job.
The new revision of the form, which is also available in Spanish, guides the worker through a set of questions that must be answered sequentially through to the completion of the form. One of the enhancements of the form is that it provides more information about the various agencies that respond to these complaints.
If someone has been wrongfully terminated by their employer in violation of the Whistleblower Act or any other laws, they can have an attorney assess their case. Wrongful termination attorneys would then be able to construct legal action based on consideration of the financial losses involved and possibly attempt to recover damages for lost pay or emotional distress. The judgement against those responsible may also entitle the client to punitive damages.