At some point in your life, you may find yourself in a situation where you must decide whether to do the right thing. This type of predicament affects almost everyone at one point or another, and depending on the circumstances surrounding the issue, you may have a difficult time deciding the best course of action. Deciding to report wrongdoing may prove especially difficult if you believe you could risk losing your job.
If issues at your place of employment involve putting workers at risk due to safety violations or potentially causing harm to outside parties or the environment due to violations of rules and regulations, coming forward may prevent serious negative outcomes. Of course, the fear of retaliation may keep many individuals quiet, but luckily, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, offer protections to you and other workers under whistleblower laws.
After reporting wrongdoing on the part of your employer, the possibility exists that your superiors may attempt to make your work-life more difficult or even dismiss you from your position entirely. The attempts could fall under retaliation if your complaint was a motivating factor in their choosing to carry out certain actions against you, including:
- Job termination
- Pay reduction
- Denied benefits
- Unjustified disciplining
Numerous other negative actions could also occur depending on your specific job and circumstances of employment.
Though you have protections under certain acts and laws as a whistleblower, you need to take the right steps in order to enact these protections. Only a certain amount of time exist during which you can file a complaint with OSHA in order to report retaliation. These time periods are relatively short as they tend to span over a certain number of days rather than years.
If you miss the time window for filing your complaint, you cannot seek restitution for the retaliation against you. Therefore, you may wish to understand the amount of time you have to file your report and whether you can file your complaint verbally or whether you must create a written report.
Understanding your options
Because retaliation can have a significant effect on your job and life, understanding your legal options for addressing such action may prove immensely beneficial.
During your efforts to rectify an unjust situation, you may wish to consult with an experienced Michigan attorney. This legal professional could help you understand how much time you have to take action and your best routes for effectively addressing your particular case.