Employment Issues under OSHA

Employment Issues

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration handles complaints of discrimination or termination of employment under Section 7(a). OSHA will receive the complaint in any form, including verbally, by fax, or in writing. A complaint of discrimination must be filed within 60 days of the date that the person making the complaint is notified about the adverse action that makes up the discriminatory treatment.

However, that 60-day deadline may be tolled if the discrimination is continuing in nature. Discriminatory treatment that is continuing in nature may include such activities as blacklisting, disciplining, eliminating benefits, reassigning work locations, reducing pay or hours, or assigning undesirable shifts. For discriminatory treatment that is continuing in nature, the 60-day time limit for filing a complaint with OSHA is measured from the latest day of discriminatory treatment.

Within 30 days after OSHA's receipt of a complaint, the Secretary of Labor is directed by statute to inform the person making the complaint what action will be taken. If it is determined that Section 1506 has been violated, the Secretary of Labor may file an action in a U.S. District Court. The court may order injunctive relief and other appropriate relief such as rehiring and reinstatement of the employee to his or her former position with back pay.

Copyright 2011 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.


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