What federal whistle-blower protections are in place?

One of the biggest sources of workplace harassment is targeting of whistle-blowers for retribution, censure or retaliation by the employer. Fortunately, there are federal protections in place to protect people who report unfair or unsafe employment practices.

The OSH Act of 1970 allowed OSHA to put in place authority to protect workers from employer retaliation under twenty-two different federal laws, including the False Claims Act. In order to obtain protection, the worker must file a complaint with OSHA in a specific timeframe after the retaliatory action. 

This Whistle-blower Protection Program enforces any and all statutes that protect workers who report violations of workplace law. These can include health and safety issues in the airline, commercial motor carrier, environmental, financial reform, consumer product, health insurance, food safety, nuclear, public transportation and other sectors. Workers can report work-related injuries, illnesses, fatalities, health and safety issues or violations of any employment law statute.

Whenever an employer retaliates against a worker for exercising their employee rights, that employee can file a complaint with OSHA with both the Federal and State offices. These complaints must be filed directly with OSHA. The process is relatively simple and can be done by calling a toll-free number, contacting the local OSHA office, or filing online.

Workers in Wisconsin who fear retaliation and need representation for whistle-blower protections are encouraged to report the issue to OSHA and to seek the services of a qualified Milwaukee employment law attorney. Having an attorney by your side can make the difference when getting the compensation you deserve from an employer who violates workplace health and safety statutes. 

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