As employees, our safety is paramount when we go about our daily work activities. Accidents and unforeseen incidents can happen at any time, which is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established. The main purpose of this federal agency is to ensure that workplaces provide and maintain a safe and healthy environment for employees.
How do they help employees in the workplace?
Setting Workplace Safety Standards
OSHA is responsible for setting workplace safety standards, which outline the minimum requirements that employers must follow to ensure the safety of employees. These standards cover a vast range of areas, including workplace noise levels, hazardous materials, fall protection, electrical wiring, and machine guarding.
Conduct Inspections and Investigations
OSHA conducts inspections and investigations on employers to ensure compliance with safety standards. These investigations can occur in response to an employee complaint, a fatality, or an incident of severe injury. In any instance, the inspection serves to identify any workplace hazards or safety violations. OSHA inspectors are authorized to issue citations and fines to employers who do not meet safety standards, giving them an incentive to take corrective actions.
Provide Safety Training
OSHA offers various training courses for employees and employers. These courses are designed to inform participants about the risks associated with various workplace hazards and the measures that can be taken to mitigate them.
Encourage Participation in Safety Programs
OSHA encourages employee participation in safety programs and decision-making processes. Employers are required to provide a safe workplace; however, employee participation ensures that everyone is taking proactive measures to identify and address workplace hazards. OSHA provides guidelines for effective safety committees and encourages the establishment of employee-driven programs that focus on safety and health.
Ensure Employer Compliance
Finally, OSHA’s overarching goal is to ensure employer compliance with safety standards. Employers who do not comply with OSHA regulations can be subject to fines, citations, and legal action if they continue to violate safety standards. By driving employer compliance, OSHA contributes to a safer and healthier work environment for all employees.
Can I Get Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
What happens when you get injured while on the job? In most cases, your employer should take care of any medical bills or expenses for your injuries. But sometimes, accidents happen and you need to file for workers’ compensation claims.
Can you be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim?
Workers Compensation Law
To answer the question of whether you can get fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand workers’ compensation law. In most states, employees have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits without fear of retaliation. Employers cannot fire, demote, or take any other adverse action against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Doing so would be considered discrimination.
If you’re an at-will employee, however, your employer can generally terminate you for any reason or even no reason at all, as long as it’s not based on discrimination or retaliation. This means that if you are injured on the job and file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, your employer could terminate your employment for reasons unrelated to your injury. However, if your employer does fire you specifically because you filed a claim, you may have legal grounds to pursue a retaliation claim.
Evidence of Retaliation
If you believe that your employer is retaliating against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to gather evidence to support your claim. This may include documentation of any changes to your job responsibilities, performance reviews, or other written communication. You should also document any conversations with your employer or human resources department regarding your injury or workers’ compensation claim.
What to Do If You Are Fired
If you are fired or believe that you were terminated due to your workers’ compensation claim, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in employment law. This is because the law in each state is different, and an experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options. You may be eligible for compensation or reinstatement of your job.