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Reporting employer retaliation for filing complaints

Troy employers may not mistreat workers who file complaints about job safety hazards or workplace misconduct. A company's response to an employee's claim cannot be retaliatory. Michigan employers may not break state and federal regulations by wrongfully demoting, dismissing, harassing or discriminating against workers.

At-will termination policies allow employers to fire workers with few or any reasons. Attorneys with Akeel & Valentine PLC realize some employees mistakenly believe these rules give companies the power to engage in practices like retaliation without consequences. That's not the case: You can be fired for the wrong reasons, like terminations for filing complaints of unsafe work conditions.

Multiple federal and state agencies field complaints about employer violations, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration through the Michigan Department of Labor. OSHA is a federal regulatory agency which enforces on-the-job safety regulations. The agency can help employees who have been punished by employers for doing the right thing – reporting illegal or unsafe company conduct.

You have the right to report safety violations without employer backlash. What constitutes retaliation? Unjustified dismissal is the obvious offense. However, some companies take less dramatic actions like refusing promotions, demoting or disciplining workers, cutting pay or hours or creating a hostile work environment.

OSHA's interest is predominantly in complaints about at-work safety violations. Companies that fail to document job-related injuries, provide employee safety training and supply adequate protections needlessly place workers in danger. It is unlawful for employers to punish employees who shine a light on these failures through internal or external complaints.

Retaliation is also illegal for workers who assist agencies like OSHA with workplace investigations. Employment attorneys can provide guidance for employees who are unsure how, where or when to file a complaint. Keep in mind complaints about retaliation must be made in a timely manner for agencies to render assistance, like helping you recover lost back pay and benefits.

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Akeel & Valentine, PLC
888 W. Big Beaver Rd., Suite 910
Troy, MI 48084-4748
Phone: 248-918-4542
Toll Free: 888-832-1706
Fax: 248-269-9119
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360 Porter St., Suite 200
Dearborn, MI 48124
Phone: 248-918-4542
Toll Free: 888-832-1706
Fax: 248-269-9119
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