You’re the kind of person who speaks up when you see something wrong. Consequently, you filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, because your employer was subjecting you to unsafe working conditions.

While this activity is protected, your employer somehow figured out you’re the one behind the complaint and they’ve retailed. Now it’s time to learn your OSHA whistleblower protection rights, because you don’t have to take this treatment.

11 Retaliatory Behaviors Prohibited by OSHA

OSHA protects whistleblowers from workplace retaliation. This means your employer is prohibited from taking adverse actions against you, including:

  • Firing or laying off
  • Blacklisting
  • Demoting
  • Denying overtime or promotion
  • Discipling
  • Denial of benefits
  • Failure to hire or rehire
  • Intimidation/harassment
  • Making threats
  • Reassignment affecting prospects for promotion
  • Reducing pay or hours

Filing a Complaint With OSHA

If your employer has retaliated against you for being a whistleblower, it’s important to fight back. OSHA is here to protect your rights, so stand up for yourself and file a complaint. Time is of the essence in this situation, because different legal time limits are in place for each statute under OSHA jurisdiction. For example, complaints regarding violations of the OSH Act must be filed within 30 days, while those concerning the National Transit Systems Security Act can be filed within 180 days.

If you want to file a complaint, there’s three ways to do it:

Visit or call your local OSHA office

If you’re not sure where your closest OSHA area office is, call 1-800-321-OSHA or visit to find office address and contact information.

Send a written complaint to the closest OSHA office

Fax, e-mail or send your complaint by mail to your closest OSHA office. Complaints can be filed in any language, but be aware of filing deadlines. The date on the postmark, fax or e=mail is considered the date filed, so time it right to make sure you don’t miss the cut.

Submit your complaint electronically

Visit, if you’d prefer to submit your complaint electronically.

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