The Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigate companies to ensure that they respect workers’ rights. Among those protections is the right to report injuries and work hazards. This is critical to improve safety and reduce injuries. This article will go over how OSHA investigates may help you and what they can do for you.
As an example, OSHA launched an investigation into AT&T following the company’s suspensions without pay of several employees. AT&T justified the suspensions on the grounds that those workers violated its safety policies. But, a subsequent OSHA investigation found that AT&T was penalizing employees for reporting injuries. OSHA helped those workers recover their lost wages and clear their employment record.
This is a single example of an infinite variety of situations. OSHA has received increased funding, however, it is insignificant when you consider the vast amount of companies and workers. And there are situations in which an employee may have to actively stand up for his or her rights.
As such, there are some things you can do to protect your own interests. For example, keep copies of your employee handbook and take note of any changes. Track the times and dates when you reported hazards. Encourage your colleagues to do the same. You want to keep a clear record of the times you reported the hazard so that if you ever are wrongfully terminated, you will have a body of evidence to support your claims.
If you were fired from your job after reporting your own or a fellow worker’s injury, then your rights may have been violated and you might want to consult with a lawyer. You could have a valid claim for wrongful termination, lost wages and other damages. Workers have an inherent right to report injuries, it is critical to discovering dangers and correcting them.