Employer Retaliation and Whistleblower Claims
EMPLOYER RETALIATION FOR SAFETY COMPLAINTS - WHISTLEBLOWER CLAIMS
HAVE YOU BEEN SUBJECT TO EMPLOYER RETALIATION FOR MAKING A SAFETY COMPLAINT?
HAVE YOU HELPED A CO-WORKER INJURED ON THE JOB AND HAD YOUR EMPLOYER ATTEMPT TO PUNISH YOU?
SEAMEN, RAILROAD WORKERS, CONSTRUCTION WORKERS YOU HAVE FEDERAL LAW PROTECTION!
OSHA Whistleblower Authority - Seamen and Railroad workers
The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") administers the whistleblower protection provisions of twenty-one whistleblower protection statutes, including Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), which prohibits any person from discharging or in any manner retaliating against any employee because the employee has exercised rights under the OSH ACT.
Rights afforded by the OSH Act include employee participation in safety and health activities, such as complaining to OSHA and seeking an OSHA inspection, participating in an OSHA inspection, participating or testifying in any proceeding related to an OSHA inspection, and reporting a work-related injury, illness, or fatality.
The twenty other whistleblower protection statutes administered by OSHA protect employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime and securities laws.
A complaint of retaliation filed with OSHA must allege that the complainant engaged in protected activity, the respondent knew about that activity, the respondent subjected the complainant to an adverse action, and the protected activity motivated or contributed to the adverse action. Adverse action is generally defined as any action that would dissuade a reasonable employee from engaging in protected activity. Depending upon the circumstances of the case, "adverse" action can include:
-Firing or laying off
-Denial of fringe or other benefits
-Refusal to or Failure to hire or rehire
-Intimidation in the Workplace
-Physical and Emotional threats
-Reassignment affecting prospects for promotion
-Reduction of pay or hours
The Seaman's Protection Act, 46 U.S.C. §2114 (SPA) as amended by Section 611 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, P.L. 111-281
46 USC §2114. Protection of seaman against discrimination.
Railroad Workers’ Protection
49 U.S.C. §20109 - Railroad Worker Whistleblower act
§20109. Employee Protections
If you believe your employer has discriminated against you because you exercised your safety and health rights or other protected activity, contact Hofmann & Schweitzer to help you complaint to your local OSHA Office right away. Most discrimination complaints fall under the OSH Act, which gives you only 30 days to report discrimination. Some of the other laws have complaint-filing deadlines that differ from the OSH Act, so be sure to check.
In addition, depending on the statute, you may need to file your complaint in writing. You can telephone, fax, or mail your OSHA 11(c) complaint, and we can assist you. The complaint should be filed with the OSHA office responsible for enforcement activities in the geographical area where the employee resides or was employed, but may be filed with any OSHA officer or employee.