OSHA’s employee rights are not always fully understood by employers. As an OSHA defense lawyer, we recommend knowing your employees’ rights. It’s crucial to understand your employees’ rights in order to prevent them from working in an unsafe work environment or filing a complaint because of unsatisfactory work conditions.
1. Your Employees Have The Right To Report Injuries
Construction employees in the United States have the right to report any work-related injuries or illnesses. As an employer, you have no right to stand in the way of an employee reporting an injury or filing an OSHA retaliation complaint. This must be filed during a 30-day time period after the refusal of report.
2. You Cannot Punish An Employee For Using Their Rights
Using employee rights is not a punishable offense. The OSHA Act is in place to defend employees who file complaints about hazardous working conditions. Employees that file a complaint cannot be fired, transferred, or have their hours reduced. If an employer does punish an employee for asserting their rights, the employee can then contact the OSHA Whistleblowers at www.whistleblowers.gov/ within 30 days to fill out a Notice of Whistleblower Complaint Form.
3. Train Your Employees On What To Do In A Dangerous Work Situation
The first thing a worker can do when they find themselves in a dangerous working condition is bring it to your awareness. Another option is to file a complaint with OSHA, which can be done at any time. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to maintain a safe workplace for your employees, and prevent and hazards from occurring.
4. Your Employee Can Ask OSHA To Inspect The Workplace
If there has been a serious hazard in the workplace, or as an employer you are not complying with OSHA standards, an employee can ask OSHA to send an inspector to the workplace. Employees also have the right to tell OSHA that they would like the complaint to be anonymous. When the OSHA inspection comes to the workplace where there has been a complaint, it’s important to know that workers have the rights to:
- Speak in private with the OSHA inspector
- Hold meetings with you and the inspector prior to the inspection and again afterwards
- Walk through with the inspector
Employees that file a complaint to request an inspection also have the right to learn the results of the inspection.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.