What is the timeframe for filing a whistleblower claim with OSHA?
Under the whistleblower statute, a railroad worker only has 180 days from the adverse action of the railroad to file an administrative claim with OSHA.
If your railroad sends you a letter charging you with a rule violation after you’ve had a personal injury, or reported a safety violation, or failed to return to work because your doctor is telling you that you need to be off, the adverse action is the discipline or charge letter, and that is when your time starts to “toll.” Toll means that the clock is ticking and you only have 180 days (6 months) to file an administrative claim with OSHA. If you are then terminated after the investigation into your “charge” by the railroad, this constitutes another adverse action and your time begins to toll from the date of the termination letter. Again, once that time begins to run, you only have 180 days from that moment in order to bring a claim.
So many potential clients come to us after the statute of limitations has expired and their rights have run out. It’s important to file your administrative claim with OSHA as soon as possible. It is even more important to speak with a railroad attorney who understands the whistleblower laws and can help you file your claim.