Complaints automatically routed to investigators

Whistleblowers covered by one of 22 statutes administered by OSHA will now be able to file complaints online. The online form will provide workers who have been retaliated against an additional way to reach out for OSHA assistance.

It's not just about workplace safety either. OSHA has assigned responsibility under the law to receive complaints and investigate violations in a wide range of employee whistleblower/retaliation situations, including environmental, transportation, consumer, investor, food safety, and the latest: the Affordable Care Act.

Examples of prohibited "adverse action" against workers under OSHA's whistleblower or retaliation protections include:

  • Firing or laying off
  • Blacklisting
  • Demoting
  • Denying overtime or promotion
  • Disciplining
  • Denial of benefits
  • Failure to hire or rehire
  • Intimidation
  • Making threats
  • Reassignment affecting prospects for promotion
  • Reducing pay or hours

The new online form prompts workers to include basic information so that they can be easily contacted for follow-up. Complaints are automatically routed to the appropriate regional whistleblower investigators. In addition, the complaint form can be downloaded and faxed, mailed, or hand-delivered to the agency. The paper version is identical to the electronic version and requests the same information necessary to initiate a whistleblower investigation.

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