You have a right to call attention to it when your Washington employer engages in dangerous or unethical business practices. There are also specific whistleblower protections that outline your rights in this regard. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces the whistleblower protections of numerous whistleblower statutes. The organization also bans employers from retaliating against you if you decide to blow the whistle.
Per Whistleblowers.gov, retaliation takes place when your employer, or your employer, through a supervisor or manager, takes some sort of adverse action against you in the wake of you blowing the whistle.
Examples of retaliation
Your employer’s actions may constitute retaliation if they involve cutting your pay, docking your pay, or demoting you. Denying you overtime pay or a deserved promotion may also fall under the retaliation umbrella. If your employer or supervisors begin harassing, threatening or intimidating you after you blow the whistle about wrongdoing, these actions may also count as retaliation, among other possible examples.
Responses to retaliation
As a victim of whistleblowing-related retaliation, you may have legal recourse. You may file a formal complaint with OSHA, but note that you must do so within a particular timeframe. How long you have to file your claim depends on the whistleblower statute under which you file your complaint. However, you likely have somewhere between 30 and 180 days to call attention to the retaliation you experienced as a result of blowing the whistle.
Once you file your claim, expect to have OSHA interview you to see if there is enough evidence to move forward with an investigation.