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By Louise Herman

As an employee, you have the right to work in a safe and healthy environment. However, if you discover that your employer is in constant violation of OSHA standards, you may want to file a complaint, but the fear of being fired as a result may hold you back. Keep reading to learn whether or not your employer can retaliate against you for filing an OSHA violation, and discover how a Providence, Rhode Island whistleblower protection lawyer can help you if you’ve been subjected to unfair treatment after filing a complaint.

What Is OSHA and What Are Examples of Common Violations?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federally run program responsible for investigating workplace safety. This board has the authority to examine businesses and companies to ensure the workplace is safe for their employees.

Generally, any violation that surrounds ladders, scaffolding, eye and face protection, and communication hazards. If your employer suggests you place a ladder on top of a forklift to reach a high space, this is an example of an OSHA violation, as ladders must be on clean, dry, and stable surfaces. Similarly, if your employer continually refuses to clearly label hazardous materials, this is another example of an OSHA violation.

Is My Employer Allowed to Retaliate?

If you file a complaint with OSHA, your employer is prohibited from retaliating against you. This means they cannot terminate or demote you, reduce your pay, or harass you as a result. You cannot face retaliation because it’s your right as an employee to remain in a safe environment. Speaking up about OSHA violations is essential, as it not only holds your employer responsible, but also ensures you and your co-workers have improved working conditions.

However, just because your employer cannot retaliate, does not mean they will not retaliate against you. Unfortunately, this is all too common in the workplace, and employees are left to suffer.

What Should I Do if I’m Punished for Reporting a Violation?

If facing retaliation for reporting an OSHA violation in your workplace, you do not have to accept the punishment. You should collect as much evidence of the retaliation as possible, as this can help you provide the necessary evidence to prove your case.

You’ll also want to contact an experienced employment attorney immediately. In Rhode Island, you only have three years from the date of the retaliation, so you must not hesitate to reach out.

At the Herman Law Group, we will do everything possible to help you receive justice for the retaliation your employer took against you as a whistleblower. We understand the importance of these individuals in the workplace, and we will do everything in our power to help you.

About the Author
At Herman Law Group, our focus is on safeguarding the rights and careers of employees and businesses alike. With over 35 years of successful legal practice, Louise A. Herman brings an invaluable dual perspective from representing both employees and employers. This unique insight allows us to effectively achieve successful outcomes for our clients in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and nationwide.