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How do I file a whistleblower complaint?

There might come a time during your career where you will need to blow the whistle on something unethical or illegal that your employer is doing. There are protections in place, specifically the Whistleblower Protection Act, that legally protect employees from retaliation by their employer should they bring attention to an issue. If you feel you've been retaliated against, you can file a complaint against your company.

If you believe that your rights as an employee have been violated by your employer, you have the right to file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The rights of employees are protected under the OSH Act of 1970. The most common type of complaint filed by employees against their employers is that of discrimination.

The complaint must be filed within 30 days of the alleged action taking place. There are some instances in which you can file a complaint with both the state and federal OSHA organizations. If you happen to be filing a complaint under a different statute for whistleblowers that is enforced by OSHA, you will need to check the time limit for that statute for filing.

Complaints regarding retaliation can be filed online, over the phone or via fax. OSHA accepts complaints that are filed using any language. Once your complaint is filed, an interview with the complaintant will be scheduled to determine if an investigation needs to be conducted. OSHA will ask that the employee's job, wages and benefits be restored if it is found that there was discrimination present.

Employees should never be afraid to speak up about unethical or illegal practices occurring at their place of employment. Employees can file complaints against their employer for retaliatory actions if they blew the whistle on those issues in Los Angeles.

Source: United States Department of Labor, "File a Complaint," accessed Feb. 16, 2018

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