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How do OSHA’s whistleblower laws define retaliation?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2022 | Whistleblower Cases

There are certain laws in place across California and the United States that offer you certain protections if you decide to “blow the whistle” about wrongdoing in your place of employment. Should you decide to call attention to the fact that your employer is doing something unethical with regard to safety, health, ethics or something similar, you have laws in place protecting you against employer retaliation.

According to, your employer may not retaliate against you because you decide to engage in a “protected activity.” Blowing the whistle about wrongdoing or illegal or unethical activity falls under the “protected activity” umbrella. So, if you do so and your employer takes retaliatory action against you because of it, he or she may wind up in legal hot water.

Defining retaliation

Retaliation occurs if your employer takes any sort of adverse action against you after you blew the whistle about what was happening there. You may also face retaliation at the hands of a supervisor, manager or administrator.

Defining adverse action

Adverse action is not always as obvious as outright retaliation. However, adverse actions are efforts made by your employer, supervisor or someone in a similar role who seeks to discourage you from reporting perceived violations or otherwise engaging in protected whistleblower activities. Making verbal threats against you, giving you less favorable hours or denying you overtime hours are a few possible examples of adverse action.

When someone in a position of authority retaliates or takes adverse action against you, you have the option of filing a whistleblower complaint against that party.



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