The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets forth a multitude of rules and regulations that employers and employees are required to follow in order to maintain a safe workspace. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for employers to violate the rules set out by OSHA, either to cut corners or out of sheer negligence. When this happens, it can greatly endanger the safety of employees. That said, you should understand that federal law protects employees who report OSHA workplace violations, and if you were retaliated against for reporting such a violation, you may have a valid claim against your employer. Read on and reach out to a Chesterfield County worker retaliation attorney to learn more about how our firm can help if you’ve been retaliated against for reporting an OSHA violation in the workplace.
What are some of the most common OSHA violations?
Some of the most common workplace OSHA violations that we see are as follows:
- Defective scaffolds, ladders, or harnesses
- Failure to improperly label or handle certain toxic materials
- Failure to provide workers with functioning respirators
- Failure to provide employees with eye and face protection when necessary
- Failure to provide employees with head protection, such as hard hats
As an employee, if you notice any of the aforementioned, or any other safety hazard that causes you to reasonably believe your workplace is unsafe, you have a right to report the hazard to OSHA without fear of retaliation from your employer. That said, employers will still sometimes retaliate against employees, regardless of what the law says. In this case, you should consider taking action against your employer.
How can I tell if I’m a victim of retaliation?
If you reported an OSHA violation and your employer took any of the following actions against you, you likely have a basis for a retaliation claim:
- Fired or laid you off
- Demoted you or denied you a promotion
- Reduced your pay or hours
- Harassed or intimidated you
- Took any other action against you that affects your employment status or conditions
What should I do if I’m a victim of workplace retaliation?
If you are a victim of workplace retaliation, you should do what you can to document the incident(s) of retaliation, and then report it to your company’s HR department. If your company does not have an HR department, however, or if your HR department failed to intervene and prevent the retaliation, you should strongly consider speaking with a seasoned employment lawyer who can stick up for your rights. Our firm can help determine whether you have a valid claim, and, from there, help build a strategy to best fight for the outcome you deserve.
Contact Passero Employment Law today for help with any instance of workplace retaliation.