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Can you be fired for complaining about an unsafe workplace?

You know that you have a right to a safe workplace. You know that your employer is supposed to eliminate unnecessary dangers, give you proper training, provide personal protection equipment and much more.

However, what if this doesn't happen? What if your employer allows the workplace to become unsafe -- to the point that you honestly think that you are going to get hurt on the job?

The easy answer is that you are allowed to file a complaint. You can even contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) if your employer will not fix the problems and provide adequate safety.

Many employees worry about getting fired if they report safety issues. Some employers just want workers who do what they are told, no matter what. If you speak up about safety violations, are you risking your job?

You're not. It is illegal to retaliate against an employee who makes an honest safety complaint or asks for hazards to be removed. Retaliation could include firing you, cutting your hours, cutting your pay, giving you a demotion, moving you to a less desirable position or changing your work schedule. Your employer has to take your concerns seriously and cannot even threaten any of the above to get you to work when you face real risks.

If you get fired for this reason -- and it does still happen, even though it is illegal -- then you could have a wrongful termination case on your hands. Make sure you know all of the legal rights that you have at your disposal.

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Mount Laurel, NJ 08054

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