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West Virginia employment laws protect whistleblowers

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2023 | Employment Law

The U.S. Department of Labor prohibits employers in West Virginia and all other states from retaliating against workers who report violations or criminal activities in the workplace. If you are a whistleblower, labor laws protect you against unfair treatment in the workplace based on your report. For example, if you file a whistleblower report and then your employer passes you over for a promotion several weeks later, you might have cause to file a complaint for violation of employment laws.

It’s not just rejection over for a promotion that occurs as retaliation for blowing the whistle. Employers denied many workers pay raises or demoted them from their positions in similar circumstances. You might even have shown up for work one day and found out that the company no longer needs your services. In short, they fired you, and you believe it is directly related to the fact that you reported unlawful activity in the workplace.

OSHA oversees the health and safety of workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a government agency that investigates violations of employment law in the workplace. For example, if you caught your employer cutting corners and disregarding safety codes to expedite production while creating an unsafe work environment, this might be an issue that OSHA would want to investigate.

Certain jobs, like working in a West Virginia mine, fall under MSHA’s oversight rather than OSHA. MSHA stands for The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration. If you work in a mine where your employer is not adhering to safety regulations, your life and the lives of your coworkers may be at risk. If you report the situation, then suffer repercussions from your employer, it might be a case of whistleblower retaliation.

Numerous other government agencies help protect workers

In addition to OSHA and MSHA, there are many other government agencies that help enforce worker safety in West Virginia and all other states. There have been many cases where workers are hesitant to report their employers, supervisors, managers or other executives for unlawful activity or safety violations because they fear retaliation.

If you have been hesitant to step forward to report an issue, you’ll be glad to know that labor laws exist to protect you. While most employers may hire and fire employees at will, they may not unlawfully terminate their positions as retaliation for whistleblowing. This is a direct violation of U.S. labor laws. If you and your coworkers are facing such problems, it is advisable to seek support from someone who is knowledgeable about West Virginia employment laws.