Retaliation Complaints Based on Workplace/Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) Claims

Claims Based on Health and Safety

You may have a retaliation claim against your employer if you were discriminated or retaliated against because you took part in any of the following protected activities:

  • Made complaints about safety or health conditions or practices at work for yourself or your co-workers,
  • Instituted or caused the institution of a proceeding related to your rights to safe and healthy working conditions,
  • Testified in a health and safety proceeding,
  • Exercised your rights under the California Occupational Safety and Health Act,
  • Participated in an occupational health and safety committee established under Labor Code section 6401.7,
  • Refused to work when the work would violate the Labor Code, any occupational safety or health standard, or any safety order, and that violation would create a real and apparent hazard to you or co-workers.

For more information about these protected activities, see Labor Code section 6310 and Labor Code section 6311.

Filing Your Complaint

If you have a retaliation claim based on any of these health and safety protected activities, you may file a retaliation complaint with the Labor Commissioner's Office in any of the following ways:

  1. In person at any location of the Labor Commissioner's Offices
  2. By mail at:

    LABOR COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE
    RETALIATION COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION UNIT
    2031 HOWE AVE SUITE 100
    SACRAMENTO CA 95825

    or
    LABOR COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE
    RETALIATION COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION UNIT
    320 W FOURTH ST SUITE 450
    LOS ANGELES CA 90013

  3. By email to: oshaRetaliation@dir.ca.gov
  4. By phone at: (714) 558-4913
    (please leave a message and you will be called back in one business day)
  5. By fax at: (714) 558-4089
  6. By going online at [coming soon]

Although not required, if you want to use a form to file your complaint, you should download, complete, and print the Retaliation Complaint form.

Investigation

Once your complaint has been accepted by the Retaliation Complaint Investigation Unit, it will be assigned to an investigator who will investigate your claim.

Determination

After the investigation, the Labor Commissioner's Office will make a determination whether a violation has occurred, and if appropriate identify proper remedies.

Appeal

For complaints pertaining to worker safety (Labor Code section 6310 or Labor Code section 6311), only the person who complained of retaliation may seek a review of the Labor Commissioner's determination. This review is started by filing an appeal with the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations within 15 days of receiving the determination. The appeal must state why the determination is unjust or unlawful, and every issue the Director should consider. The Director will then provide the other parties with a copy of the appeal and allow them to respond.

Any party to the determination has the right to file a Complaint About State Program Administration (CASPA) with Federal OSHA if not satisfied with the procedures followed in the Labor Commissioner's investigation.

Links to Other Resources

November 2017