OSHA reminder: Workers have whistleblower rights during COVID-19 pandemic

Photo: Michail_Petrov-96/iStockphoto

Washington — Retaliation against workers who report unsafe or unhealthy conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic is illegal, OSHA is reminding employers.

An April 8 press release from the agency lists forms of retaliation, including firings, demotions, denials of promotion or overtime, and reductions in pay or hours.

Workers can file whistleblower complaints with OSHA – online or via phone at (800) 321-6742 – if they believe their employer has retaliated against them. The agency protects whistleblowers under 23 statutes.

“Employees have the right to safe and healthy workplaces,” acting OSHA administrator Loren Sweatt said in the release. “Any worker who believes that their employer is retaliating against them for reporting unsafe working conditions should contact OSHA immediately.”