One of the best ways to ensure that businesses in Hawaii and around the United States are practicing good and legal business operations is to protect those who come forward and report any misconduct. These people are usually called whistleblowers and are often part of the companies that they are reporting. However, they take a big risk in coming forward with information as they may be the subject of retaliation. Read on to learn more about whistleblower retaliation, what it looks like and how the government is able to protect these employees.
What does retaliation look like?
Employers know that according to the law, they are not allowed to retaliate against an employee who has reported them. However, that does not mean they won’t attempt to punish the employee in some way. Some of the most common ways that companies will retaliate against a employee is by demoting them, overworking them or simply keeping them out of projects they would normally work on. The following include further forms of retaliation:
- Reducing hours
- Making physical or verbal threats
OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program
The government created OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program to help ensure that employees who come forward are protected no matter what industry they work in. The program includes over 20 federal laws to help employees.
How to file a complaint
OSHA has made it very easy for employees to begin the process of filing a complaint against their employees. An employee simply needs to contact OSHA via phone call, mail, email or an in-person office visit.
What happens next?
After you file your complaint, OSHA will conduct research to see if the statements provided by you are credible. If they are, an OSHA whistleblower investigator will be assigned to the case. Evidence will be collected, and potential criminal charges may be filed if the violations are severe enough.
If you suspect that your employer is retaliating against you for filing a complaint to the OSHA, you should seek the services of an attorney immediately. An attorney may inform you of your rights as well as explain how to collect evidence of retaliation, which you will need in court if you decide to file a lawsuit.