Whether it’s the possible presence of asbestos, improperly stored chemicals or lax safety protocols, workers are usually some of the first people to bring workplace issues to the attention of their bosses. Most would expect that their employer and subsequent higher ups would take safety issues seriously, but unfortunately the opposite is often true. Some New York employers would rather ignore these violations and allow the problems to persist.
An employee does not become a whistleblower simply by complaining about a problem to their boss. It is not until they have notified their bosses and other superiors at the company that the opportunity to become a whistleblower arises. This is done through notifying the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Although typically efficient at handling the problem, taking this step can have serious implications for workers.
Retaliation for whistleblowing can vary greatly. Some whistleblowers have been fired for complaining, while others have been transferred to distant offices with no warning or explanation. Others receive negative performance reviews for behavior that was never considered a problem prior to filing a complain with OSHA. Employers can be creative with their retaliatory actions, and some employees might even question whether they are imagining things.
Whistleblowers can file additional complaints for their employers’ retaliation with OSHA. However, this is usually not sufficient for achieving just recourse on behalf of whistleblowers who have been discriminated against. In most cases, discrimination claims against retaliatory employers in New York can help victims pursue recovery of lost wages and others related costs.
Source: FindLaw, “OSHA Whistleblower Protection“, Accessed on Oct. 16, 2017