The right to work in a safe environment is paramount. An employee should not face the risk of a serious injury or death at work. Yet, not all employers put the appropriate emphasis on worker safety.
Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act prohibits employers from retaliation against employees who exercise rights guaranteed under the Act.
If an employee is required to work in an unsafe environment or perform job duties in a way that subjects the employees to an unreasonable risk of injury, an employee can file a complaint with the Department of Labor.
Once an employee does so, a company may not discharge or retaliate against an employee who has filed a complaint . If the employer fires an employee for refusing to work in unsafe conditions, the employee can file a Section 11(c) complaint with the Department of Labor. If the Department of Labor investigates and finds that the employee’s claim of retaliation is supported, it may pursue a claim on the employee’s behalf and seek reinstatement, payment of back pay with interest, compensation for special damages, punitive damages, or other non-monetary relief.
An employee has only a short period of time to file a complaint under Section 11(c) if the employee believes he or she has been retaliated against by the employer for complaining about unsafe work conditions or filing a complaint with the Department of Labor.
If you believe you have been issues pertaining to safey in your work environment, contact us by clicking Tell Us About Your Problem and filling out the questionnaire.