California workers who report their employers for violating safety rules and other laws are protected under several federal whistleblower protection statutes. These laws forbid retaliation against people for filing whistleblower complaints or for participating in investigations. If the employers retaliate against the employees for engaging in protected activities, the whistleblowers are able to file retaliation complaints against them.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for enforcing workplace safety regulations. Because whistleblowers must file their complaints with the appropriate federal agencies, depending on the law that their employer violated, OSHA has published a revised complaint form. The form is available online, and workers may complete it to report retaliation against them by their employers.
The new form walks complainants through the process, prompting them with questions and popups. When the form is completed, it is then routed to the appropriate federal agency. Federal law protects whistleblowers from any adverse actions, including demotions, terminations, layoffs, denials of overtime, denials of bonuses, and blacklisting. If workers report their employers for violating federal laws, their employers are not allowed to engage in any adverse action against them in retaliation.
People who have been fired for reporting their employers’ illegal activities may want to consult with experienced employment law attorneys who can assist their clients with filing their wrongful termination and retaliation complaints with the appropriate agencies. It is important for workers who have been wrongfully terminated to act quickly so that they do not miss the relevant statutes of limitations. If they do, they may be prevented from filing complaints and recovering damages for their losses.