As an employee of a business, you have various rights. We often discuss employment laws related to discrimination, harassment, wages and overtime pay. But you also have a right to a safe workplace and healthy work environment.
Depending on a person’s line of work, the health risks posed on-the-job vary greatly. For example, a New Jersey construction worker might face more day-to-day accident risks than an accountant. Still, both types of employees not only should be reasonably protected from accidents; they should also be protected from retaliation should either report a safety problem at their place of work.
First, if there is a safety or health concern at your workplace, you can anonymously file a complaint with OSHA. An OSHA representative would then evaluate the place of work and determine whether there were any safety violations going on and, hopefully, get the employer to turn things around before anyone (or anyone else) gets hurt or sick.
For those workers who do file a complaint and/or bring up safety and health concerns to their employer, know that doing so should not result in any form of retaliation. If you believe that your job has been negatively impacted — or lost — because you exercised your right to seek a healthy workplace, you can file a whistleblower complaint with OSHA.
There are specific guidelines in place to effectively do this, and working with an employment lawyer as soon as possible is a wise way to ensure that you work within those guidelines in order to have a strong chance at defending your worker rights in New Jersey.