296-360-100 - Discrimination because of a complaint under or related to WISHA

296-360-100. Discrimination because of a complaint under or related to WISHA

RCW 49.17.160 prohibits discharge of, or discrimination against, an employee because the employee has filed any complaint under or related to this act.

(1) An example of a complaint made "under" WISHA would be an employee request for inspection pursuant to section 11 (RCW 49.17.110). This is not the only type of complaint protected by RCW 49.17.160, however. The range of complaints "related to" WISHA is commensurate with the broad remedial purposes of this legislation and the sweeping scope of its application.

(2) Complaints registered with other state or federal agencies that have the authority to regulate or investigate industrial safety and health conditions are complaints "related to" WISHA.

(3) The protection offered employees by WISHA would be seriously undermined if employees were discouraged from lodging complaints about industrial safety and health matters with their employers. Complaints to employers, if made in good faith, are related to WISHA, and an employee is protected against discharge or discrimination caused by a complaint to the employer.

(4) To come within the protection of RCW 49.17.160, a complaint must relate to conditions at the work place, as distinguished from complaints touching only upon general public safety and health.

Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.040, 49.17.050, 49.17.240, chapters 43.22 and 42.30 RCW. 80-17-015 (Order 80-21), ยง 296-360-100, filed 11/13/80.

The following state regulations pages link to this page.