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Your protections when reporting safety violations

The state wants employees to report safety violations, which is part of the reason that the Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Act exists. The MIOSHA was created to define employee and employer rights, and the responsibilities and obligations of both parties. Below are a few examples:

-- You can file written notices if you think that there are safety violations.

-- You can ask for your name to be left off of these reports so that your employer does not know who filed them.

-- If you have to mention other employees when you are writing out the report or talking to the authorities, their identities can be hidden as well.

-- If the government decides not to investigate your claim, they have to let you know.

-- If the final disposition is done regarding your complaint and you don't agree with it, you can ask for a review to be carried out.

-- You do have the option to be more involved in the investigation if you want, by doing things like meeting with the investigators or even accompanying the investigator while the inspection is being carried out.

-- If you are involved in the investigation or your employer knows that you filed the report, they can't legally retaliate against you. This means you can't be fired, your benefits can't be cut, your pay can't be docked and your employer can't take other steps to get back at you simply for adhering to the law.

This last point can be very important, as it really is set up to encourage workers to come forward when needed, and you must know how your legal protections works.

Source: Michigan.gov, "Your Rights & Responsibilities Under MIOSHA," accessed Aug. 10, 2016

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