A whistleblower is an employee who has provided information to authorities about some form of wrongdoing by an employer. The type of violations may include unsafe working conditions, employees being denied overtime pay or promotion, wrongful firing, illegal disciplinary actions, making threats, blacklisting an employee and other actions.
In addition, the Whistleblower Protection Act protects federal employees who have reported violations of law, rules, regulations, cases of gross mismanagement, gross waste of funds, any abuse of authority, or cases involving a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety.
Employees may face retaliation after reporting a violation, whether voluntarily or when interviewed by investigators. If you have suffered adverse employment consequences for your activities as a whistleblower, you may be entitled to compensation.
The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP pursues claims on behalf of whistleblowers on Long Island and in the nearby areas including Nassau County, Suffolk County and Queens. If you believe you have been treated unfairly as a whistleblower, we want to hear your side of the story. We want to help you stand up to your employer or others who have violated your rights, and obtain appropriate compensation for the injustice you have suffered.
To find out more about your rights, call us now or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation and claim evaluation.
Osha and Whistleblower Protection Programs
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OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) manages many whistleblower protection programs to protect employees in a broad range of industries. Whistleblowers are protected by law from retaliation from an employer. Workers are protected from discrimination under 21 different federal laws. These laws include environmental and safety laws, transportation laws and consumer and investor protection laws.
If you have provided information to an inspector and later faced retaliation from your employer, you may have the right to seek compensation for lost wages, as well as other damages. You have limited time in which to file a claim, however, and time is of the essence if you are facing repercussions for whistleblowing.
Many types of claims are required to be submitted within 30 days of the adverse action, with some exceptions. Due to the short window of time in which to file, it is important that the actions taken are completed correctly, submitted correctly and include all the necessary information so your claim can move forward through the system. At Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, our employment attorneys are committed to helping whistleblowers seek justice after suffering retaliation.
Whistleblower Protection Programs: Federal Law
There are many federal laws regarding protection of whistleblowers in different industries and under different circumstances. Some of these include:
- Federal employees reporting violations in SEC cases (WPA)
- Health and safety complaints (OSHA)
- Asbestos hazard complaints (AHERA)
- International Safe Container Act (ISCA)
- Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA)
- Clean Air Act violations (CAA)
- Environmental (CERCLA)
- Energy-related (ERA)
- Aviation safety (AIR21)
- Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
- Clean Water Act (FWPCA)
- Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
- Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA)
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
- Pipeline Safety Improvement Act (PSIA)
- National Transit Systems Security Act (NTSSA)
- Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
- Affordable Care Act (ACA)
- Maritime Safety (SPA)
- Consumer Financial Products and Services (CFPA)
- Food safety (FSMA)
- Motor vehicle transportation safety (MAP-21)
An employee can be put in a difficult position when reporting an employer, section or department for violations, whether by filing a complaint or when questioned by regulators or inspectors. Reprisals, such as losing employment, status or seniority, can be threatened, or actions may have already been taken. Any action by an employer intended to punish an employee who has taken the initiative to report violations, either internally or to the authorities, is illegal.
You have the right to a safe working environment, and to be free from any threats, a demotion, wrongful termination and other actions leveled against you as retaliation for your report of violations.
At Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, we are advocates for employees who are seeking justice after suffering retaliation for a whistleblowing action. Our attorneys can see to it that your rights are protected and that you are compensated if you have been treated illegally.
Call us or fill out our online contact form to talk to an employment law attorney with Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP. We will respond to you immediately and aggressively pursue justice for you.
- OSHA – Whistleblower Protection Program
- OSHA – Directorate of Whistleblower Protection Programs
- SEC – Information on Whistleblower Protection Act and Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act