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VOSH Programs

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Anti-Discrimination Investigation

Refusal to Work - cont.
considered retaliatory only if the employee has sought abatement of the hazard from the employer and the statutory procedures for securing abatement would not have provided timely protection. The condition causing the employee's apprehension of death or injury must be of such a nature that a reasonable person, under the circumstances then confronting the employee would conclude that there is a real danger of death or serious injury and that there is insufficient time, due to the urgency of the situation, to eliminate the danger through resort to regular statutory enforcement (e.g. filing an employee complaint with VOSH). In addition, in such circumstances, the employee, where possible, must also have sought from his or her employer, and been unable to obtain, an abatement of the dangerous condition. (See VOSH Administrative Regulations Manual, Virginia Administrative Code 16 VAC 25-60-110).

Discrimination Against Employees Who Exercise Their Safety and Health Rights

Who to Contact

If you believe your employer has treated you unfairly because you exercised your safety and health rights, contact the VOSH Discrimination Investigator at (757) 455-0891 Ext.131 right away. The Code of Virginia gives you 60 days after the adverse action to report workplace safety and health discrimination.

You can telephone, fax or mail your complaint to the Discrimination Investigator at Interstate Corporate Center, Building 6, 6363 Center Drive, Suite 101, Norfolk, Virginia 23502. Phone: (757) 455-0891 Ext. 131 Fax number: (804) 371-6524. VOSH conducts an in-depth interview with each complainant to determine the need for an investigation. If evidence supports the worker's claim of discrimination, VOSH will ask the employer to restore the worker's job, earnings and benefits, or seek other corrective actions. If the employer objects, VOSH may take the employer to court to seek relief for the worker. If, after the investigation, VOSH refuses to issue a charge against the employer, the employee can bring an action in a circuit court having jurisdiction over the employer. VOSH is not involved in this private proceeding.

Other Federal Whistleblower Laws

NOTE: Federal OSHA is responsible for enforcing whistleblower protection under ten numerous federal laws. Federal OSHA Area Office staff can explain the protections under these laws and the deadlines for filing complaints. Federal laws with whistleblower protections administered by federal OSHA include, but are not limited to: the Surface Transportation Assistance Act; the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act; the International Safety Container Act; the Energy Reorganization Act; the Clean Air Act; The Safe Drinking Water Act; the Federal Water Pollution Control Act; the Toxic Substances Control Act; the Solid Waste Disposal Act; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, and the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century.

Return to VOSH Anti-Discrimination - Page 1

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Virginia Department of Labor and Industry - Headquarters: Main Street Centre Bldg. 600 East Main Street, Suite 207, Richmond, Virginia 23219-4101
Telephone Number - Office: 804.371.2327 TDD: Fax: 804.786.2376 - Our Hours are from 8:15 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday - Friday