Common Questions About OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program

When exposing a company for corruption, it will be essential to have legal representation from a whistleblower lawyer employees recommend. The process can be complicated and involves far more than providing information to a supervisor or agency. Where to report the concern depends on several factors, including the type of industry and the form of corruption. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a division of the US Department of Labor that ensures that working conditions are safe and healthy for workers. OSHA has a whistleblower protection program that protects workers from retaliation under various laws. Eric Siegel Law knows that workers who come forward may become lost in the shuffle as agencies step in to protect the greater concern, which can involve violations that impact many more outstanding issues. Because of this, whistleblowers need a lawyer with experience in this area of practice who can protect them and answer the questions they will have moving forward.  

What is OSHA’s whistleblower protection program?

When an employee comes forward to report information about hazards and dangers regarding safety in the workplace and suffers retaliation, they can file a complaint with OSHA. As a result of these reports, OSHA can take action to protect these employees from retaliation for coming forward. It’s important to note that when filing a complaint with OSHA, they are not anonymous, and should OSHA pursue an investigation, the details of the complaint will be made available to the employer, giving them time to respond to the complaint. As our whistleblower lawyer in Washington, DC can explain, OSHA manages over 20 whistleblower protection laws, each with different timeframes. Each of these prevents employers from adverse actions towards these employees; some of these laws include:

  • Anti-Money Laundering Act
  • Clean Air Act
  • Toxic Substances Control Act
  • Energy Reorganization Act
  • Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2020
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act
  • Federal Railroad Safety Act
  • +More

How is a complaint filed with OSHA?

Under 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are protected from retaliation for filing complaints against their employers. Those covered under this act are employees who are employed by businesses engaged in interstate commerce. Employees or their lawyers can file a complaint if they believe they have been retaliated against. Complaints can be made in person, by phone, online, or in writing. Once the complaint has been received, they will determine the appropriate course of action. Remember that victims of retaliation have 30 days to file a complaint after the retaliation has taken place. 

What is retaliation, and is it a protected act?

Employees who blow the whistle may experience adverse action from their employer. While whistleblowing is a protected act, it doesn’t always stop employers from retaliating against the employee who made the complaint. Examples of retaliation may include any of the following:

  • Demotion
  • Pay Reduction
  • Reducing Hours
  • Firing
  • Mistreatment
  • Making Threats
  • Physical Violence
  • Isolating Employees
  • Blacklisting 
  • +More

Who protects the whistleblower during the investigation?

While there are laws meant to protect employees from recourse, retaliation is a genuine concern for whistleblowers. Although action can be taken, a whistleblower can be left feeling exposed and vulnerable to adverse actions that can profoundly impact them. Because of this, it will be essential to speak with a lawyer to ensure their interests are protected. 

How can a lawyer assist a whistleblower?

It can be confusing for someone to manage the whistleblowing case in tandem with a prospective retaliation case. Whistleblowers deserve legal advocacy from a lawyer with experience managing cases of this nature. They will be able to help their clients file complaints promptly and manage correspondence with OSHA and employers who have retaliated against them. 

For more information and to take immediate action- contact Eric Siegel Law. 


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Brooklyn Office:

Contact Our Brooklyn
Workers Compensation Lawyers

300 Cadman Plaza West One Pierrepont Plaza 12th Floor, 11201
(718) 875-0909