Many fear becoming whistleblowers because they worry they could lose their job. However, if you report your employer or place of business for workplace safety violations, you have protections under the law. While OSHA protects you against job loss, it also protects you against various forms of retaliation.
If you filed a claim against your employer and have undergone unfair treatment, you may have a retaliation claim.
Retaliation occurs when an employer takes some form of adverse action against an employee. Adverse actions are actions meant to deter people from raising concerns about safety violations. When employers take action against whistleblowers, it does not only affect the whistleblowers. It affects the whole team and can reduce employee morale.
While retaliation can be obvious, like firing a person following a whistleblower claim, it can also be more subtle. Subtle acts of retaliation are more challenging to recognize and sometimes employees do not realize they have protections from these actions.
For example, say your supervisor holds regular meetings with the staff. These meetings may be essential and you may have received invites before your claim against the company. Suddenly, you no longer receive invitations. The supervisor may make up excuses, but in reality, it could be a form of punishment for making a claim.
Other forms of retaliation include denying overtime, reassigning you to a less desirable position, reducing your payment and making the workplace intolerable. More obvious forms of retaliation include threats and harassment.
All employees have protection from retaliation, including temporary workers.