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OSHA AND ANTI-RETALIATION RIGHTS FOR INJURED WORKERS

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OSHA AND ANTI-RETALIATION RIGHTS FOR INJURED WORKERS

The Occupational Safety and Health Act is an Act (OSHA) that signed into law in 1970 and its main goal is to ensure that employers provide employees with an environment free from recognized hazards, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, excessive noise levels, mechanical dangers, heat or cold stress, or unsanitary conditions.  OSHA also contains whistleblower protection statutes and anti-retaliation provisions that generally provide that employers may not discharge or otherwise retaliate against an employee because the employee has filed a complaint or exercised any rights provided to employees. Each law requires that complaints be filed within a certain number of days after the alleged retaliation. Complaints may be filed orally or in writing, and OSHA will accept the complaint in any language.  Section 11(c) provides protection for employees who exercise a variety of rights guaranteed under the Act, such as filing a safety and health complaint with OSHA.  See 29 CFR 1977 http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2014-title29-vol9/pdf/CFR-2014-title29-vol9-part1977.pdf

It is not uncommon for employers to take disciplinary action, including discharge, against employees who report work related injuries in order to discourage employees from reporting injuries.  However, reporting an injury is a protected activity under OSHA and is a requirement for pursuing a workers compensation claim in Pennsylvania.  If an injured worker is retaliated against for reporting a work related injury, a complaint must be filed with an OSHA local office within thirty (30) days of when the retaliatory action took place.  The local OSHA office in the Harrisburg area is located at 43 Kline Plaza, Harrisburg, PA 17104-1529.  They can be reached by telephone at (717) 782-3902.  If you file a retaliation complaint under OSHA, the law also protects you from retaliation or filing the complaint.

If you believe that you have been retaliated against for reporting a work related injury, contact a lawyer immediately and protect your rights under OSHA by filing a retaliation complaint.

 

Ira H. Weinstock, P.C. is located in Harrisburg, PA and serves clients in and around Southeast Pennsylvania. Contact our experienced Harrisburg attorneys today, we can travel if necessary.

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