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How long do I have to file a whistleblower retaliation complaint?

Whistleblower lawsuits sometimes result in retaliation from the whistleblower's employer, even though such actions are specifically against the law. If you have been the target of such retaliation, did you know there is a certain number of days in which you have to file a complaint?

For whistleblower protection programs involving the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, those time limits depend on which statute(s) the employer is accused of violating. Here are some of those statutes and the number of days you have to file a complaint, either in writing or orally:

Within 30 days:

-- Clean Air Act

-- Occupational Safety and Health Act, Section 11(c)

-- Federal Water Pollution Act

-- Toxic Substances Control Act

-- Solid Waste Disposal Act

Within 60 days:

-- International Safe Container Act

Within 90 Days:

-- Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act

Within 180 days:

-- Energy Reorganization Act

-- Federal Railroad Safety Act

-- Pipeline Safety Improvement Act

-- Seaman's Protection Act

-- Sarbanes-Oxley Act

-- Consumer Financial Protection Act

As you can see, there are many federal laws that can be violated and result in a whistleblower case. However, because these laws often do not have the same time limits on filing a retaliation complaint, it is important to speak to your attorney as soon as possible after you believe that retaliation has occurred. This will help ensure that your complaint is filed in a timely manner.

If you are not sure if you are being retaliated against, it is also wise to speak with an attorney. Such actions can include termination, denial of benefits, reductions in hours or pay, harassment, demotion and more.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "The Whistleblower Protection Programs," accessed Sep. 01, 2015

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