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You Cannot be Fired for Reporting a Valid Safety Concern

by | Aug 27, 2020 | Employment Law Basics

Workers often notice safety issues and still elect to say nothing. For instance, an employer denies workers proper fall protection gear, saying it’s too expensive and slows down the job. Workers know they need it, but no one has fallen yet, so everyone stays silent.

Often, the fear is simply falling out of favor with the company. If you complain to your boss, are you going to lose your job? The next time you’re up for a promotion, will it go to someone else? If there’s an unfavorable task that needs to be done, will it go to you? Employees are so obsessed with trying to please their employers that it makes them scared to do the right thing.

Don’t be. You have legal protections under whistleblower laws. If you report a real safety concern, you can’t be fired for it. You can’t be demoted or have your hours cut. Your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you, and, if it happens anyway, there are legal steps you can take to fight back.

Examples of complaints you can make include:

  • Violations of commercial motor carrier safety laws and regulations
  • General workplace safety and health issues
  • Airline safety standards
  • Pipeline safety issues
  • Nuclear safety regulations
  • The use of asbestos in schools
  • Environmental violations
  • Corporate fraud and trade violations
  • Security issues regarding public transportation
  • Railroad carrier safety issues

These are just a few examples, but they show how safety issues are well-addressed across the board. If you’d like to learn more about your right to safety in the workplace or your whistleblower protections, our website can answer many of your most pressing questions.