OSHA has revised the whistleblower complaint form for the protection of the employees who wish to report the violations of the workplace safety norms.
This online form grants them protection from retaliation by the employers.
Our St. Louis workers compensation lawyers explain that employers often retaliate in different ways and take adverse action against workers who report violations. They may fire, demote or threaten them. They may refuse to give them benefits, reduce their pay or working hours.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act protects the workers who complain about the violations in their workplace.
The statute related to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is a good example of the whistleblower protections. It provides that the manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and private labelers should not discriminate against workers who have given information about a violation or affirmed a violation of the Act. It regulates and implements methods to market safe goods for consumers and even children. The standards are set for products meant for toddlers and infants and also for things like paints.
The whistleblower protections do not allow employers to change an employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, and privileges of employment as retaliation after he reports a violation or refuses to participate in the activities which he thinks are violating the Act.
The Goal and Purpose of OSHA
The goal of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all employees.
It has been created to ensure that workers are provided a healthy and safe working environment. It sets and enforces the safety and health standards that have to be maintained in the workplace. It gives training, information and assistance to workers and employers.
What is a Whistleblower?
A person who reports wrongdoing in the workplace is called a whistleblower. The Whistleblower Protection Act protects employees who voluntarily disclose information about the dishonest or wrong activities in an organization from retaliatory action.
Ways to Submit a Whistleblower Complaint
Employees can submit a whistleblower complaint by filling an online form. They have to allege that:
- The employee was engaged in an activity which comes under the whistleblower protection.
- The employer was aware or had an idea that the employee was involved in that activity.
- The employer took an unfavorable action against the employee.
- The employer acted in an adverse manner because of the employee’s action.
OSHA also accepts complaints which are made over the phone. Otherwise the person can go to an OSHA office and file a complaint.
After an employee submits a whistleblower complaint OSHA will determine whether an investigation is needed. It will notify the employer about the employee’s complaint. The employer is given a chance to respond.
In this way, an employee can use different ways to launch his complaint and report the violations taking place in the workplace. At the same time he can remain safe and not lose his job, income and other benefits related to his occupation.