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OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program Helps Relieve Employee Fears About Filing for Workers' Comp

Workplace injuries happen every day. Sometimes it’s the fault of the employer, and sometimes the injury is caused by employee misconduct.

When an employee is injured on the job and it is the employer’s fault, there are measures in place to make sure the employee is compensated while he or she is unable to work. Employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation to help cover the cost of injured employees.

In some situations, employees might be fearful of being reprimanded by their employer if they file a workers’ compensation claim. To help keep this from happening, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, commonly referred to as OSHA, created the Whistleblower Protection Program.

The purpose of this program is to prevent employers from intimidating or reprimanding an employee for reporting a workplace safety violation or filing a workers’ compensation claim. Under the program, there are actions that employers are not allowed to take if an employee files a claim or reports a violation, including:

  • Firing or laying off the employee
  • Demoting the employee
  • Denying a promotion if one is deserved or owed
  • Denying employee benefits
  • Denying employment or re-employment
  • Blacklisting the employee
  • Reducing pay or hours worked
  • Reassigning the employee to prevent promotion
  • Threatening or intimidating
  • Subjecting the employee to disciplinary actions

If an employer violates the OSHA rules and does retaliate or discriminate against an employee, the worker can file a claim with the local OSHA office within 30 days of the violation. All employees deserve a safe work environment. If an employer refuses to supply this, OSHA is available to help protect employees’ rights.

Workers’ compensation claims can get tricky. The attorneys at Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas are well versed in the Virginia workers’ compensation laws and are here to help. Contact us today to discuss your case and what options are available to you.