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OSHA Once Again Reminds Employers: Whistleblower Retaliation is Illegal

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a reminder to employers across the United States that any form of retaliation against employees who blow the whistle on suspect working conditions is strictly illegal. Examples of illegal retaliation include termination, demotion, reductions in pay/hours or denials of promotions/overtime.

Workers who believe they have been retaliated against can file a whistleblower complaint with OSHA online or by calling 1-800-321-OSHA. Whistleblowers are afforded certain protections against retaliation that employers must respect.

Employer responsibilities

OSHA enforces whistleblower provisions in more than 20 different whistleblower statutes, which are designed to protect employees from all sorts of retaliation. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are required to provide their employees with safe, healthy work environments. Employees who make reports about unsafe working conditions should be listened to, not summarily dismissed and certainly not retaliated against. It is crucial for the safety and health of all employees that these reports are taken extremely seriously.

OSHA provides important resources to workers and employers on its Whistleblower Protection Program website about worker rights and the various protections that exist for whistleblowers in various industries, as well as a variety of frequently asked questions the agency receives. OSHA enforces its standards and offers training, education and assistance for employers who need assistance in ensuring their compliance.

If you have experienced unsafe working conditions in your workplace and your employer has refused to address those conditions even after you file a report through the proper channel, it is important you properly report the issue to OSHA. Contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group for assistance in the legal process.

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In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

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