For all employees, workplace safety is a crucial concern. Hazardous situations, such as dangerous chemicals, insufficient safety equipment, or toxic material exposure, can have a substantial influence on the health and well-being of all workers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and associated state regulations have made significant progress in making workplaces safer in the United States during the last century. Despite this, some firms continue to scrimp on safety in order to save money, or even unknowingly expose employees to hazardous situations. This frequently puts employees in a difficult position: do they endanger their careers by filing a complaint, or do they risk their health by staying silent?
Thankfully, there are rules in place that protect employees from having to make this decision. Both federal law (under OHSA) and several state statutes clearly protect employees who file safety complaints, according to an experienced wrongful termination attorney.
California laws protecting whistleblowers
In California, for example, whistleblowers for workplace health and safety hazards are protected by law. Retaliation against workers who report violations of California’s occupational health and safety standards to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is forbidden under California Labor Code 6310.
Employer discrimination or retribution against family members of persons who report worker health and safety issues is likewise prohibited by this statute. California is an at-will employment jurisdiction, which means that companies can terminate employees for any reason and without notice, as long as the cause isn’t illegal.
However, it is illegal to fire an employee for filing a safety complaint with the federal or state government or through the company’s internal systems. As a result, dismissing an employee for raising concerns about safety issues might be considered unlawful.
Not everything is as severe as dismissal
Importantly, there are other sorts of retribution that might occur when an employee makes a safety complaint that aren’t as severe as dismissal. This might involve constructive termination, which occurs when an employer makes an employee’s working circumstances so terrible that he or she has no alternative but to leave, or demoting.
An employer could, on the other hand, refuse to promote an employee or deny him or her access to training or even the resources needed to accomplish the work correctly. It’s possible that any or all of this is a kind of retribution. If you suspect you have been subjected to retaliation or constructive termination because you filed a safety complaint, an experienced employment law attorney can discuss your options with you.
Learn your options
Employees who have been fired or retaliated against for raising concerns about safety issues might initiate a lawsuit against their company. However, depending on whether the case is brought in federal or state court, there are certain steps that must be followed prior to bringing this sort of litigation.
A knowledgeable wrongful termination lawyer can assist you in determining if filing a case is the right line of action for you, as well as ensuring that all of the necessary procedures are done. Because these claims have strict deadlines, it is vital that you speak with a wrongful termination lawyer as quickly as possible to discuss your alternatives. Contact PLBSH now at (800) 435-7542 for a consultation.