How Do OSHA’s Whistleblower Laws Define Retaliation?

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2022 | Whistleblowers

When your Florida employer takes actions that threaten the health or safety of your workforce or the public, you have the right to call attention to the action. You also have the right to do so without worrying about whether your employer may retaliate against you afterward. The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces the provisions of more than 20 statutes that protect whistleblowers.  These provisions give you a potential means through which to hold your employer accountable if he or she takes adverse action against you in the wake of you blowing the whistle.

Per, OSHA’s whistleblower laws say the following about retaliation.

What constitutes retaliation

When you blow the whistle on your employer, you are engaging in a “protected activity.” OSHA’s whistleblower laws prevent your employer from taking adverse action against you for engaging in any type of protected activity, including whistleblowing. If you do blow the whistle and your employer takes adverse action against you as a result, this may fall under the “retaliation” umbrella.

What constitutes an “adverse action”

An “adverse action” is essentially any negative action your employer takes against you that might dissuade future employees from doing the same thing you did. For example, OSHA’s whistleblower laws prevent your employer from firing, demoting or cutting your pay in the aftermath of you blowing the whistle. Denying you overtime or benefits or disciplining you without due cause may also constitute retaliation, among other possible examples.

If you decide to move forward with filing a complaint against your employer, you must do so within a certain timeline. How long you have to file a complaint depends on what whistleblower statute you cite in your filing.