When you work for a Texas company and that company does something illegal, unethical or dangerous, you have a right to shine a spotlight on the issue without fear that your employer might take negative action against you. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has specific protections in place should you decide to “blow the whistle” about wrongdoing in your place of business. These protections also give you recourse if you become a victim of workplace retaliation.
Per Whistleblowers.gov, your employer may not take adverse action against you because you decide to report a violation that has the potential to impact safety or health.
Many different acts or actions may constitute workplace retaliation. If you call attention to something dangerous taking place in your place of business and your employer fires you, demotes you or cuts your pay, any of these actions may fall under the “retaliation” umbrella. Also, if your employer denies you overtime or decides not to give you a promotion, these acts, too, might constitute retaliation, among other examples.
When your employer retaliates against you for blowing the whistle, you may choose to file a complaint with OSHA. There are time restrictions associated with doing so. However, how much time you have depends on which whistleblower protection or act you cite when making your complaint. You also have options in terms of how you file the complaint. You may choose to do so by email, phone, “snail mail” or in person.
When prepping to make your complaint, try to keep thorough notes. Document all retaliatory behaviors and include as much detail as possible with regard to timing, who was present and so on.