New Protections For Whistleblowers
In the last few weeks, there has been news for employees who have worried about workplace retaliation. OSHA, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has issued final rule on procedures meant for handling retaliation complaints under the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010. Section 1057 of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) says that employees are protected against retaliation as it applies to reporting violations of consumer financial protection laws to their employer, a Bureau, or any other agency. This law is meant specifically for whistleblowers and is of utmost importance.
Whistleblowers are actually great assets for businesses in many different ways. They serve as a check on the government and business. This is due to the fact that they show the illegal and unethical and even sometimes dangerous practices that will not be corrected if it weren’t for their inside knowledge. When the integrity of financial systems are being threatened, whistleblowers come in and speak of injustice in their jobs and the corners that employers will cut, even when dubbed illegal.
Whistleblowers often fall victim to wrongful termination in the workplace. Employers will usually make the decision to terminate employment or discriminate against an employee over the fact that they exposed suspected dishonest work activities or wrongdoings that they found out about during work hours. Whistleblowing is usually associated with government workers who report government fraud, although it can generally apply to any worker. Certain statutes put in place to help these workers after they have been retaliated against will offer them monetary awards when they have exposed the wrongful employer.
With the help of whistleblowers, many things can be uncovered. The Office of Special Counsel, for instance, is tasked with investigating complaints by the federal employees who claim that they were punished when they blew the whistle on their employer. Many violations that are heard from each year include illegal activity, gross mismanagement of money, abuse of authority, or other dangers to society as a whole.
What Must Happen to File a Complaint?
Of course, there are certain standards that must be met before an employee blows the whistle on an employer. First of all, complaints must be made to OSHA because they are responsible for administering the provisions of protection acts. However, the employee must have been engaged in an activity that was seen as a protected activity. Also, the employer must have been aware of the activity and subjected the employee to an undesirable action.
Adverse Actions From Employers
If you have blown the whistle on your employer and believe that retaliation was taken against you, you probably have a claim. OSHA promises protection from workplace retaliation in its many forms. Here are some of those forms:
- Firing or laying off
- Denying overtime or promotions
- Discipline (unnecessary)
- Denial of benefits
- Failure to hire
- Intimidation or harassment
- Making threats
- Reassignment affecting prospects for promotion
- Reducing pay or hours
Since 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 has given employees rights by making sure that employers are held responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. Since then, whistleblowing laws have taken many forms on federal levels as well as state levels, being implemented to give rights back to the workers that they rightfully deserve.
If you have fallen victim to retaliation, you will want to understand your rights. In many cases, adverse treatment from employers as well as illegal actions in the workplace causes accidents, illnesses, and many more events. If you need legal representation through the process, call an attorney you can trust. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi we care about your rights and will fight for them every step of the way.