A whistle-blower is defined as any individual that brings to light violations or illicit activity performed by an employer or organization. Whistle-blowers across the U.S. and Wisconsin are often subjected to scrutiny and retaliation after bringing their allegations to officials, which may lead the individual or group to seek legal advice. After reporting violations of federal regulations, it is important to know your rights and if you are protected under government whistle-blower laws.
Seventeen statutes outline provisions created by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration are designed to protect whistle-blowers. These cover a wide variety of workers across nearly every industry. In addition to these statutes, there are multiple other acts, including the Whistle-blower Protection Act, and executive orders that are outlined in legislation presented under other agencies outside of OSHA.
These whistle-blower laws protect employees in the initial act of reporting, but it goes beyond that. Workers are allowed to testify, assist in the investigation and in other ways contribute to the proceedings without fear of retaliation. If employees are punished for participating in the investigation, the employer could find themselves in worse trouble than before.
Any person who feels that they have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace after acting as a whistle-blower is encouraged to file a complaint with OSHA. The numerous federal laws that are in place are designed to protect the individual after claims have been made. If you have questions or concerns regarding federal whistle-blower laws, speaking with an experienced attorney may be beneficial.