How to file a whistleblower retaliation claim

On behalf of James L. Arruebarrena, L.L.C. posted in Retaliation - Whistleblower Protection on Wednesday, May 27, 2015.

Those who see something illegal or inappropriate in the workplace should be sure to speak out. However, many Louisiana workers fear that if they talk about illegal activity at work they will be punished by their employer. A worker who has been retaliated against may incur significant financial losses, particularly if he or she is fired, and emotional turmoil may take a toll.

This kind of employer retaliation is against the law. Those who have had an employer retaliate against them should be sure to file a claim with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. There are many ways a complaint may be filed, including using OSHA's online complaint form, downloading and faxing or mailing the "Notice of Whistleblower Complaint Form," calling the local OSHA office, or mailing a letter describing the complaint to the local OSHA office.

It is worth noting that complaints must typically be filed within a specific time period. For many, the complaint must be filed within 30 days of the incident. However, if the retaliation falls under certain laws, then the timeframe may be extended. The anti-retaliation provisions in the Federal Railroad Safety Act, for example, provide for 180 days within which retaliation must be reported.

Staying on top of one's employee rights can be quite complicated, particularly with so many laws surrounding employment issues. Yet, those who feel they have had their rights trampled upon, whether as a regular employee or a whistleblower, may feel better protected if they acquire the assistance of a competent and compassionate attorney who is well-versed with employment law. Thus, those who have employment concerns may want to think about talking with a legal professional to assess their legal options.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "File a Complaint," accessed on May 22, 2015