Employer is being investigated by OSHA for 11(c) violation; retaliation of whistleblower under STAA (Transportation). I'm wondering what my options are if OSHA finds that my complaint of retaliation under section 11(c) has merit and finds employer retaliation--but the DOL chooses NOT to represent me in that issue. Does OSHA issue a similar document to the EEOC's "right to sue" if they believe a claim has merit? Would my attorney then take on the case and sue in a federal district court?
The DOL and OSHA do not usually prosecute cases. You would need to hire a private attorney to represent you. You should have received a findings report from OSHA, this is all you need to start a case. Your state may also have a whistleblower statute (Florida does), when you speak to an employment attorney or your attorney, you should discuss weather there is also a claim under state law.
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Based on what you've written, you will be best served by finding an attorney that can represent you. I am not familiar with OSHA representing employees, they really represent the state.
You may have a number of significant concerns about retaliation: will you be demoted, terminated, be transferred and lose pay.
In order to address the long term ramifications of retaliation, you should seek a professional opinion. Good luck!
You should discuss the facts of your situation with an employment law attorney. OSHA investigates violations of safety laws. They don't sue on behalf of an employee who is retaliated against for filing an OSHA complaint. The DOL is also not the forum for your matter. If you have a good case, an employment law attorney will, most likely, first write a demand letter to your former employer regarding your claims and if the matter is not resolved out of court, sue in court. Many of us offer a free initial phone consultation and you can find contact info on Avvo.com. Kristine Karila, Employment Law Attorney
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