If you have experienced or learned about illegal, unethical or unsafe actions or policies at your place of work, you may wonder what you should or can do. You may wish to discuss your concerns with a manager or other member of a leadership team. In some cases, these discussions fail to correct a problem.
You may also not feel comfortable having such discussions and instead opt to make anonymous reports with the intention of correcting the problem without disclosing your identity. Your identity, however, may eventually be discovered.
Your job security after reporting issues
You should feel safe to report problems that create or may create health and safety hazards at work. However, some employers may be less than accepting of your actions. When this happens, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicates that any retaliatory actions on the part of your employer may be illegal. Retaliation may take many forms including reducing your work hours, moving you to a different position, eliminating your position altogether and more.
Reporting retaliation after whistleblowing
You may report suspected retaliation to OSHA within 30 days of the action. This report may be made in writing or via phone. OHSA investigations into these claims focus on identifying the protected activity you engaged in, your employer’s knowledge of that activity, their associated negative reaction and the motivation for their adverse action.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give employees in California an overview of the protections they may receive from OSHA when engaged in protected whistleblower activities.