Whistleblowers are people who report unsafe workplace conditions to federal or regulatory agencies such as OSHA. These . Here are a few things you need to know about being a whistleblower and what is in place to protect you.

You are protected against more than just firing: While being fired is probably the primary form of retaliation, in truth whistleblowers are protected against several methods of retaliation. Your employer cannot fire you, nor can they cut your hours or wages, demote you, refuse to promote you, remove any employee benefits, or harass or intimidate you into quitting.

You are not required to tell a supervisor before you report: While a manager or supervisor may tell you that you should bring all safety or workplace concerns to them first before reporting it, you are not required to do so. In fact, you may want to avoid this in order to protect yourself and to ensure the problem is dealt with reasonably.

You have the right to remain anonymous: You can request that your report not have your name attached to it, in order to keep yourself safe from possible harassment. Don’t take this to mean that you automatically will be retaliated against, but just know that you have the right to keep yourself anonymous.

Even if you signed a nondisclosure, it might not apply here: When it comes to safety, illegal activity, or other workplace concerns, any paperwork that you signed to protect the privacy of your company might not apply. These sorts of agreements may make people worried about reporting, but just remember, there are over 25 different laws to protect whistleblowers of every variety.

You may file a complaint with OSHA if your employer retaliates against you by taking unfavorable personnel action because you engaged in protected activity relating to workplace safety or health, asbestos in schools, cargo containers, airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health insurance reform, motor vehicle safety, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, motor vehicle safety, and securities laws. Don’t be afraid to report, and know you are always protected as a whistleblower.

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