After considering your options for responding to unsafe work conditions, you notified authorities of a workplace hazard your employer failed to address. You want to protect yourself against retaliation, but you do not know what to look out for.
The United States Department of Labor explains how retaliation works and who it affects. Learn how to protect yourself, your career and your position with the company.
When employers or people in positions of power within a company terminate employees or take adverse actions against workers who engage in legal actions, that becomes retaliation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration establishes whistleblower regulations against retaliation.
Whistleblower rights also extend to temporary workers. When temporary employees feel a company takes adverse action against them, the company and the staffing agency that works with the company could face legal action.
Adverse actions intimidate concerned employees into not taking protected action, such as notifying OSHA about dangers in the workplace. Aside from affecting individual employees, adverse actions may also make other workers think twice before raising legitimate concerns, which could create a culture of fear in the office.
Employee termination does not represent the only example of adverse actions employers engage in. Others include demoting employees, denying employee benefits, disciplining workers, making threats, excluding workers from essential meetings and harming an employee’s chances of advancing her or his career.
You should not feel you must live in fear whenever you have a legitimate concern to bring to your boss. When you understand whistleblower laws, you have a better idea of when your employer violates your rights.