US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health Administration We Can Help

The Whistleblower
Protection Programs

Whistelblower Montage

Know Your
Rights

OSHA’s whistleblower statutes protect you from retaliation. An employer cannot retaliate by taking "adverse action" against workers who report injuries, safety concerns, or other protected activity.

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Worker
Protections

Since passage of the OSH Act in 1970, Congress has expanded OSHA's whistleblower authority to protect workers from retaliation under twenty-two federal laws. Complaints must be reported to OSHA within set timeframes following the retaliatory action, as prescribed by each law.

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File a
Complaint

File a complaint if your employer has retaliated against you for exercising your rights as an employee. In states with approved State OSHA Plans, employees may file a complaint under the OSH Act with both the State and Federal OSHA. Under the other federal laws, a complaint must be filed with Federal OSHA directly. You may file a complaint by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), contacting your local OSHA office or filing online here.

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About the Program

OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program enforces the whistleblower provisions of more than twenty whistleblower statutes protecting employees who report violations of various workplace safety and health, airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health insurance reform, motor vehicle safety, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, and securities laws. Rights afforded by these whistleblower protection laws include, but are not limited to, worker participation in safety and health activities, reporting a work-related injury, illness or fatality, or reporting a violation of the statutes herein.

Workplace Safety and Health

Section 11(c) of the OSH Act prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees for exercising their rights under the OSH Act. These rights include filing an OSHA complaint, participating in an inspection or talking to an inspector, seeking access to employer exposure and injury records, reporting an injury, and raising a safety or health complaint with the employer. If workers have been retaliated or discriminated against for exercising their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA within 30 days of the alleged adverse action.

Since passage of the OSH Act in 1970, Congress has expanded OSHA's whistleblower authority to protect workers from discrimination under twenty-two federal laws. Complaints must be reported to OSHA within set timeframes following the discriminatory action, as prescribed by each law. These laws, and the number of days employees have to file a complaint, are:


*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Directorate of Whistleblower Protection Programs at 202-693-2199 for assistance accessing PDF materials.

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