Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, workers have the right to a safe workplace.
If a worker is worried that their working conditions are unusually dangerous, they have the right to file a confidential complaint with OSHA so their workplace can be inspected. They also have the right to review records of any work-related injuries and illnesses that have occurred at their workplace.
Under the OSH Act, employers cannot retaliate against workers for filing a complaint to OSHA and requesting an inspection.
WHAT IS A WHISTLEBLOWER?
A “whistleblower” is anyone who reports insider knowledge of illegal activities going on within an organization. Whistleblowers are often employees who are aware that illegal activities are occurring at their place of business, often through directly witnessing the behavior.
There are different organizations that are interested in illegal activities; for example, OSHA is interested in the environmental and safety violations, whereas the SEC is interested in securities law violations.
If a workplace is dangerous, OSHA encourages employees to:
- File an anonymous complaint;
- Request an inspection:
- Point out workplace hazards;
- Describe the injuries and illnesses suffered by workers as a result of the hazards; and
- Discuss workers’ complaints about hazards.
There is more than one way to be a “whistleblower,” an employee can report other types of violations or illegal activities, including workers’ compensation violations.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION VIOLATIONS
The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has an Employer Whistleblower Form, which is for employees to report employers suspected of violating the workers’ compensation coverage requirements.
Examples of workers’ comp violations, include but are not limited to: no workers’ compensation, concealing payroll, underreporting payroll, and an employer who is misclassifying employees.
NEW YORK WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEY
Whether you were injured because your workplace was not safe, and your employer was possibly violating an OSHA regulation, or if you were injured and you’re concerned that your employer is in violation of one of New York’s coverage requirements, you should contact a New York workers’ compensation lawyer from our firm for legal advice.
You deserve to be safe and you deserve to be fully protected by workers’ compensation. We can advise you of your rights and help protect you from employer retaliation!