Learn how to report your employer and still keep your job.
Whether you work for a big corporation, the government, or a small/medium sized business, there are several labor laws in place to protect you. Since not all employers follow these laws correctly, lawmakers created laws to protect employees when they report these violations through the Dep. of Labor. Since whistleblowers often face retaliation for their actions, legislators also passed whistleblower protection laws that forbid such retaliation.
What Is a Whistleblower?
Whistleblowers are employees who help expose – or refuse to participate in – unethical or criminality within their company or government within the labor context. This involves safety, health, employee benefits, wages, workers' compensation, agricultural work, and more. For decades, whistleblowers have helped expose single wrongdoing instances as rampant fraud and employee rights violations.
When Should You Report Your Employer to the Department of Labor?
Maybe you've witnessed racism, toxic dumping, or dangerous working conditions. or even you've been denied compensation or benefits to which you're entitled. Regardless of the case, the Department of Labor seeks to enhance working conditions and assure worker's rights, benefits, and welfare.
However, reporting a violation of the California labor laws isn't always so simple. For one thing, you would like to understand which department within the department covers your issue; for instance, the Wage and Hour Division handles many issues, including family and medical leave, compensation, issues with wage inequality, agricultural workers, and employees contracting with the local or federal agencies.
For other types of issues, such as working conditions and employee safety, are handled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
There are many departments within the Department of Labor, each specialized in separate areas. Your particulars and circumstances will determine who you need to contact and how to write your report.
Filing a Report To Expose Your Employer.
Although each process for filing a complaint will vary counting on the law and agency that applies to your situation, the subsequent are key points to think about as you prepare to blow the whistle:
Consider whether this is often a problem that will be resolved internally within the corporate. Employers can't fix problems they don't realize, and a few problems are caused unintentionally.
Keep detailed documentation about the matter, complaints you create, and the way those reports are received by HR and your counterparts.
Know which laws and departments within the agency cover your issue. As previously mentioned, there are different agencies within the Department of Labor that handle different types of complaints.
Contact the acceptable agency or division to find out whether you want to send your report to a state agency prior to contacting the Dep. of Labor.
File your complaint within the time window required by the agency or division. If you don't file your report on time, you'll lose the opportunity to address yours through the Department of Labor.
Keep Your Job After Reporting Your Employer to the Dep. of Labor
While some employers may welcome the prospect to comb out wrongdoing within their company, others aren't so appreciative after filing a report.
Whistleblowers play a crucial role in our society; however, they often face retaliation for his or her actions. As a whistleblower, you'll encounter different forms of retaliation, including continuous harassment, adverse performance reviews, pay decreases, transfers denials, and even wrongful termination.
Fortunately, many of the laws that encourage whistleblowing also contain anti-retaliation provisions that prohibit this sort of conduct and are designed to protect employees.
OSHA is the government agency within the Department of Labor that deals with whistleblower retaliation claims by enforcing the retaliation provisions of twenty-two different federal laws. However, it's important to remember the applicable deadlines for filing a retaliation claim – some need to be submitted within thirty calendar days after the alleged retaliation.
Whistleblowing can be complicated: Consult an Employment Lawyer.
There's a reason numerous laws exist to protect employees – they often don't have the resources and negotiating power to effectively protect themselves from retaliation by their employers. The laws and agencies under the Department of Labor work to shut that gap by holding employers accountable and helping workers rectify their problems.
However, collecting evidence, knowing which laws and agencies apply to your situation, and filing a complaint in time can seem daunting. Let a California employment lawyer advise you on the particulars and show you ways to report your employer to the Department of Labor.