Retaliation Rights

Federal law provides protection from retaliation when you exercise your right to:

Retaliation occurs when an employer (including through a manager, supervisor, administrator, or possibly other persons) fires an employee or takes any other type of adverse action against an employee for engaging in protected activity.


An adverse action is any action which could dissuade a reasonable employee from raising a concern about a possible violation or engaging in other related protected activity. Retaliation can have a negative impact on overall employee morale.

Reporting retaliation could lead to an order from an agency or court requiring an employer to stop engaging in retaliation. Reporting retaliation may help workers recover wages owed, monetary damages, and/or other remedies that can help make a worker whole after retaliation.

You have a right to be protected from retaliation regardless of your immigration status. Retaliation based on immigration status can include actions like threats to call immigration authorities, a request for new I-9 employment verification documents or Social Security number information, and employer efforts to call the police and involve immigration authorities. In some cases, immigration status may limit the remedies that you’ll be able to obtain if your employer unlawfully retaliated against you.

  • To report retaliation when exercising your minimum wage, overtime, or other rights that fall under DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, you can call 1-866-487-9243 or visit (See the definition and examples of retaliation and read more information about worker protections from retaliation).
  • To report retaliation tied to your right to a safe and healthy workplace, you can file a complaint with OSHA within 30 days of the unfavorable employment action against you by visiting or calling a local OSHA office at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Or you can file a complaint by sending a written complaint to the closest OSHA regional or area office, or by filing a complaint online at (Access OSHA’s Factsheet on Filing Whistleblower Complaints).
  • To report retaliation tied to employment discrimination, you should contact your nearest EEOC office or call 1-800-669-4000. In addition, you can complete an online assessment at If your employer is a federal contractor or subcontractor, you can contact the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (1-800-397-6251).
  • To report retaliation tied to your right to organize with co-workers or your right to form a union or concerning a labor organization, you have a number of options. You may call the toll-free information line at 1-844-762-NLRB (6572). You may also visit a local NLRB field office during its regular business hours. You can find a NLRB field office directory with contact information and hours of operation, and information on filing a charge. You may also e-file a charge through the NLRB’s website.
  • To report retaliation tied to your rights as a Veteran or service member, you can contact the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) at 1-866-237-0275 Monday to Friday 8a.m. to 8p.m. ET or visit its website at An interactive online USERRA Advisor can be viewed at (Learn more about rights covered under USERRA. You can also contact the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (1-800-397-6251).

Live assistance is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time by calling, 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365). *If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.