The U.S. Department of Labor reported over 2,000 safety and health-related whistleblower reports in 2022. Whistleblower protections are a way to safeguard your employment rights when you make a report to authorities about your employer. Essentially, having this protection means your employer cannot do anything that is retaliatory in reaction to your actions.
But why might you need to use whistleblower protection? Some situations where you may want to report your employer include those where safety or health is at risk or when your employer is breaking criminal laws.
Safety and health risks
The Occupational Safety and Health Act provides general provisions for creating and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. Employers have legal obligations to abide by the policies set forth in the act. If they do not, it can create an unsafe environment for workers.
If you see a situation in your workplace that is putting employees at risk, you have the right to report it to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. You can provide evidence and cooperate in the investigation as needed without fear your employer may retaliate if you do so under whistleblower laws.
Sometimes, employers will engage in unsavory behaviors to get ahead and make money. When these actions cross the line and become crimes, you can report them to the authorities. Such situations can seriously impact not only those doing direct business with the company but also the economy. Reporting an employer for illegal situations falls under whistleblower protection.
It can be stressful to work in a hazardous workspace or for an employer that is doing shady business. You do not have to put up with it. You can use whistleblower protections to make reports and ensure the situation changes.