Know Your Rights: Whistleblower Protection Programs
Posted on behalf of Arnold Law Firm on Jan 07, 2015 in Whistleblower
Whistleblowers are important to the health of our democracy and the safety of our financial markets. Whistleblowers protect the constitution, hold Wall Street accountable, and protect tax payers from fraudulent billing practices.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) under the U.S. Department of Labor spearheads the nations Whistleblower Protection Program.
The Whistleblower Protection Program aims to ensure that whistleblowers do not experience adverse employment-related actions when they report wrongdoing in accordance with a whistleblower statute.
Employers are prohibited from discriminating against an employee who has become a whistleblower. Employers may not:
- Fire or layoff an employee
- Demote or reassign an employee
- Discipline or threaten an employee
- Refuse to hire or rehire an employee
- Reduce hours, alter pay or reduce benefits
Employees who experience employer retaliation after becoming a whistleblower are entitled to file a retaliation claim with the OSHA. A successful retaliation claim may lead to either a settlement or if the employer refuses to cooperate, an order.
In either case, the employer may be required to:
- Reinstate a fired employee
- Pay back wages
- Restore all benefits
- Other remedies
The potential remedies in a whistleblower retaliation case will depend on the adverse actions taken by the employer. When employers contest OSHA orders, whistleblowers have recourse to the federal district courts. In some cases, the suit may be brought directly by the Secretary of Labor.
Depending on the statute that applies in a whistleblowing case, employees have anywhere from 30 days (Clean Air Act) to 180 days (Pipeline Safety Improvement Act) to file a retaliation complaint with the OSHA.
As such, time is of the essence. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner you can protect your job, your wages and your benefits.
The whistleblowing attorneys at Arnold Law Firm have successfully defended the rights of whistleblowers for decades. If your employer has retaliated against you after you expressed whistleblowing concerns, you must act quickly.
To discuss your potential whistleblower retaliation case, call (916) 924-3100 or fill out the online contact form.