There are many situations where you know something at work is not right but you are afraid of telling the truth. Many times the truth relates to the health and safety of you and your fellow co-workers when employers are not providing the right safety equipment as required by law and per OSHA regulations.
Workers have the right to refuse to work in unsafe conditions yet many will continue forward with the job at hand simply because they are afraid if they speak up, they will lose their job and their source of income. It is a legitimate fear because it does happen in some work environments. However, employer retaliation for telling the truth about on the job violations is not legal.
The recent case of a T-Mobile worker who was fired for speaking out about fraudulent charges and was subsequently rewarded nearly $350,000 in back pay and other compensation highlights the importance of knowing your rights. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 offers protection to workers who speak out about safety violations on the job or other illegal activities.
If you don’t speak up, maybe no one else will either. This kind of situation is what creates serious work hazards as employers will continue doing what they are doing if no one challenges them. The OSHA laws and regulations are in place to protect workers from exactly this type of situation. It is understandable you wouldn’t want to risk your job but the reality is you don’t have to feel at risk if you choose to blow the whistle on unsafe work practices.