Workers in New York, Connecticut and the surrounding areas are protected under OSHA whistleblower statutes. This means that employers are generally unable to retaliate against a worker for calling attention to illegal or harassing behavior in the workplace. Examples of protected activities include reporting a hazard on the job, refusing to engage in illegal activity or participating in an investigation. Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against can file a complaint with OSHA.
Companies can protect themselves and their employees from retaliation by being proactive in developing an anti-retaliation program. Such a plan will require training and proper oversight once it has been implemented. The program should allow employees to speak without fear of any negative repercussions. This should be the case whether an employee is reporting a program within the organization or reporting possible retaliation on the part of a manager or owner.
Having such a program can be beneficial for companies because they will have a better idea of what is going on within the organization. By learning about problems early, it may be easier to correct them and avoid secondary problems from occurring. Finally, an anti-retaliation program makes it possible for companies to comply with local, state and federal laws.
An employee who is demoted, subject to harassment at work or terminated after acting as a whistleblower may be the victim of retaliation on the job. This victim could file a complaint with OSHA or a lawsuit against their employer. An attorney may review the case to determine what steps to take to obtain a favorable outcome. If successful, a plaintiff may be entitled to compensation for wrongful termination or other damages incurred in the matter.