When you work for a Michigan company and your employer is engaging in unsafe or unethical business practices, you have certain protections available to you if you decide to “blow the whistle” about your employer’s wrongdoing. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a Whistleblower Protection Program in place that prevents your employer from taking certain adverse actions against you on account of you calling attention to its wrongdoing.
According to Whistleblowers.gov, OSHA’s whistleblower laws make it unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you in any manner after you blow the whistle about wrongdoing you became aware of or witnessed.
Understanding what constitutes retaliation
Workplace retaliation takes on many forms, and it may be more obvious in some situations than in others. If your employer fires you, cuts your pay or demotes you after you file a complaint about misconduct, these actions may constitute retaliation. The same holds true if your employer threatens you, harasses you or blacklists you from finding future employment, among other examples. Essentially, anything that constitutes an “adverse action,” or something that might dissuade you from making a similar claim in the future, may fall under the retaliation umbrella.
Filing a whistleblower complaint alleging retaliation
If you move forward with a whistleblower claim alleging you were a victim of retaliation, note that timing matters. How long you have to make your claim depends on the type of violation made by your employer.
When making your claim, you have several options in terms of how to do it. You may decide to do so in person, over the phone, online or via fax, email or snail mail.