Can Employers Punish Workers For Reporting Injuries?
It is against the law for employers to punish their workers for reporting workplace injuries. Punishment can take the form of suspending workers without pay or threatening workers with termination. To discriminate against injured workers violates the whistleblower provisions of the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act. Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sued the AT&T Ohio Bell Telephone Company for punishing 13 employees with unpaid suspensions after they reported workplace injuries.
“It is against the law for employers to discipline or suspend employees for reporting injuries,” said the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. “AT&T must understand that by discouraging workers from reporting injuries, it increases the likelihood of more workers being injured in the future… [a]nd the Labor Department will do everything in its power to prevent this type of retaliation.” AT&T claimed that the worker injuries resulted from employees breaking workplace safety standards. However, subsequent OSHA investigations found no such violations on the part of the workers.
I Need a Lawyer That Handles Whistleblower Protection
If you work in a hazardous environment but fear reporting it due to fear of termination, our Columbus workers’ compensation attorneys can help. Our attorneys have over 80 years of combined experience recovering compensation for injured workers and protecting the rights of whistleblowers. For more information about how we can assist in your particular situation, contact us. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Columbus workers’ compensation lawyers, call us today at (614) 221-7548.
[Did You Know: OSHA enforces whistleblower provisions from over 20 laws rooted in industries ranging from food safety to transportation.]
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys