questions & answers
Question: Management at my company have been forging documentation to avoid paying fines to the state. If I become a whistleblower, what are my protections?
Answer: The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has a whistleblower protection program. It protects employees who file an OSHA complaint, participate in an inspection or talk to an inspector, seek access to employer exposure and injury records, report an injury, and raise a safety or health complaint with the employer. If an employee has been retaliated or discriminated against for the above reasons, they must file a complaint with OSHA within 30 days of the alleged adverse action. Congress has expanded OSHA's whistleblower authority to protect workers from discrimination under twenty-two federal laws which concern Occupational, Environmental, and Nuclear Safety, Transportation Industry, and Consumer and Investor Protection. The number of days an employee has to file a complaint under these particular laws varies. (http://www.whistleblowers.gov/)
Arizona Revised Statute 23-1501 states that an employee has a claim against an employer for termination of employment if “(t)he disclosure by the employee in a reasonable manner that the employee has information or a reasonable belief that the employer, or an employee of the employer, has violated, is violating or will violate the Constitution of Arizona or the statutes of this state to either the employer or a representative of the employer who the employee reasonably believes is in a managerial or supervisory position and has the authority to investigate the information provided by the employee and to take action to prevent further violations of the Constitution of Arizona or statutes of this state or an employee of a public body or political subdivision of this state or any agency of a public body or political subdivision.” (A.R.S. 23-15 A 3 (c)(ii))
Arizona Revised Statute 38-532, which applies to public employees, states that an employee may not be retaliated against for disclosing information of a matter of public concern by the employee to a public body that the employee reasonably believes evidences a violation of any law or mismanagement, a gross waste of monies or an abuse of authority. (A.R.S. 38-532 (A) 1-2.) If a public employee has been retaliated against for disclosing such information as stated above, the personnel action shall be rescinded and all lost pay and benefits be shall be returned to the employee or former employee. (A.R.S. 38-532 (I))
Management at my company have been forging documentation to avoid paying fines to the state. If I become a whistleblower, what are my protections?
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