How long do I have to file a whistleblower complaint?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2021 | Employment Law |

When an employer is providing an unsafe working environment for employees and those around them, it’s considered a violation of OSHA rights. Delaware employees may file a claim with OSHA, which is referred to as a whistleblower complaint. As part of protecting employees from retaliation, OSHA has established a Whistleblower Protection Program.

Filing a whistleblower complaint

If your employer is expecting you to work in unsafe conditions, you have the right to file a whistleblower complaint. As of right now, there are more than 20 different whistleblower statutes that OSHA administers. Each one of these has time limits for their filing. It’s important to pay close attention to the date that the adverse action first took place. This is the date that is used as the starting period for the filing time frame.

30 to 180 days

Depending on the statute that your whistleblower/retaliation complaint revolves around, you may have between 30 and 180 days to report the incident. Remember that these start from the day that the adverse action first took place. Some statutes that fall under the 30-day reporting include Clean Air Act, OSH Act Section 11(c), Federal Water Pollution Control Act and Toxic Substance Control Act.

On the other end of the time frame are the statutes that allow up to 180 days for reporting. Again, this time period starts the day the adverse action first took place. Some examples include the Federal Railroad Safety Act, Seaman’s Protection Act, Affordable Care Act and Consumer Financial Protection Act.

Filing a whistleblower complaint is something that all employees can do if they feel that they’re being asked to work in unsafe working conditions. It’s vital that you report the incident as soon as possible because there are specific reporting time frames that run between 30 and 180 days. If you surpass the time frame, you may no longer file a complaint.