As a railroad worker, you may notice safety or security violations at your place of work and bring them to the attention of your employer or the government. When this happens, and you begin to face adverse action at the workplace, it could amount to retaliation. Retaliation is unlawful, and you need to safeguard your legal rights.
Retaliation can take the form of:
- Dismissal from your job
- Denial of benefits
- Facing intimidation or threats
- Being denied promotions, among others
If you are a victim, here is what you need to do.
Document the incidents
It is advisable to have a personal account of what you have been going through at your workplace. Preserve all evidence of retaliation, including communication records, testimony from colleagues or anything else that could be helpful to your case. It may assist investigations and help you prove retaliation.
File a complaint
The Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) usually handles retaliation claims. Complaints can be filed online or by visiting the local OSHA office in person. Written complaints are also accepted. Remember, complaints must be filed within 180 days after the retaliation occurred.
Possible remedies for retaliation
Once OSHA receives a complaint, it will review and investigate the case. Various remedies are available if you are a victim of retaliation. For instance, your employer may be ordered to reinstate you, pay the back wages you lost or restore missed benefits, depending on the situation.
Sometimes, an employer will contest OSHA’s decision and request a full hearing to determine the matter. Therefore, if you face retaliation for engaging in protected activities, you should be prepared to investigate the legal options available to you from the word go. It will help you protect your rights and interest throughout the entire process.