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Iowa OSHA Whistleblower Protection

Iowa OSHA operates an OSHA approved State-Plan State that enforces the whistleblower/discrimination provisions of the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Act (the Act). Iowa law protects an employee who reports an unsafe or unhealthy working environment and an employee is protected from retaliation by any person.

Your Rights

Under the whistleblower provisions of the Act, and in general, no person shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee because the employee has:

  1. Filed any complaint under or related to the Act;
  2. Instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to the Act;
  3. Testified or is about to testify in any proceeding under the Act or related to the Act; or
  4. Exercised on the employee’s own behalf or on behalf of others any right afforded by the Act.

File a Whistleblower Complaint

There is no required method for filing a whistleblower/discrimination complaint with Iowa OSHA as the complaint may be filed in person, over the phone or by fax. You may use the below complaint form that has the required information to file.

Common Questions (FAQ)

Q: What types of whistleblower complaints does Iowa OSHA investigate?
A: Iowa OSHA investigates whistleblower complaints that are related to occupational safety and/or health.

Q: What activities are protected under the whistleblower law enforced by Iowa OSHA?
A: Employees have the right to engage in “protected activity.” Generally, protected activities include reporting conduct that the employee reasonably believes violates a relevant law, filing a complaint about a violation, and testifying, assisting, or participating in a proceeding related to a violation. In general, these protected activities include internal reporting of concerns to the employer, as well as reporting issues to relevant federal, state, or local regulatory agencies or law enforcement. In some instances, Iowa OSHA’s whistleblower law may provide even broader protection. For example, the Act bans retaliation against employees for reporting injuries, illnesses, or unsafe conditions to their employers,
participating in Iowa OSHA inspections, and, under certain conditions, refusing to work when there is reasonable fear of death or serious injury.

Q: Is an employee protected from retaliation for reporting conduct that the employee mistakenly believes is unlawful?
A: Yes. As long as the employee had a reasonable, good faith belief that a violation occurred or could occur, the reporting is generally considered protected activity.

Hours of Operation

8:00am to 4:30pm • Monday - Friday

Contact Information

Whistleblower Protection
6200 Park Ave., Suite 100
Des Moines IA, 50309-1836

In Person

To visit you must schedule an appointment during regular business hours.