Companies who violate these laws and regulations could face severe penalties so they may go through efforts to conceal the violations. This includes taking adverse actions against employees who report the violations or participate in investigations. However, OSHA, the agency that regulates these laws, relies on these employees to find out about the violations. So, there are also laws that prohibit employers from retaliating against their employees who either cooperate with OSHA.
If an employer does retaliate against employees, they may be forced to compensate the employee for the retaliation. However, in order to receive this compensation the employee must file a whistleblower retaliation claim against the employer. If the complaint is filed with OSHA it must be done within certain time limits.
The amount of time an employee has depends on the violation that they reported. The employee has 30 days to file a complaint if they reported general safety violations, emissions violations, allowing pollutants into water, violations relating to the disposal of hazardous and toxic materials and other environmental violations. However, for most other violations, with some exceptions, the employee has 180 days from the date of retaliation to file a claim.
There are many laws and regulations that companies in California must follow. However, not all do for a variety of reasons, but generally it is because following the law can be expensive. Employees of the companies that do violate are encouraged to report violations and are protected against retaliation for doing so. Experienced attorneys understand employees’ rights in these situations and may be helpful.