396-8 Employee responsibility and rights. (a) Employee compliance. Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations and orders issued under this chapter which are applicable to the employee's own actions and conduct.

(b) Complaints to the department. Complaints may be made to the department and where reasonable grounds exist for the department to believe there may be a hazard, there shall be an inspection in response to the complaint.

(c) Opportunity for employees to participate in inspections. At the time and place of inspections under section 396-4(b)(2), (3), and (4), an opportunity shall be provided for employees and their representatives to bring possible violations to the attention of the authorized representative of the director conducting said inspection in order to aid inspections. This requirement may be fulfilled by allowing a representative of the employees and a representative of the employer to accompany the director's authorized representative during the physical inspection of the workplace, or in absence of the employees' representative, there shall be a consultation with a reasonable number of employees.

(d) Notice of nonaction to employees. The department shall notify the employees when the department decides not to take compliance action as a result of violations alleged by any employee or any representative of the employees. This notice shall state the decision not to take compliance action, the reasons therefor, and the procedures for informal review of such decision.

(e) Discharge or discrimination against employees for exercising any right under this chapter is prohibited. In consideration of this prohibition:

(1) No person shall discharge, suspend or otherwise discriminate in terms and conditions of employment against any employee by reason of:

(A) The employee's failure or refusal to operate or handle any machine, device, apparatus, or equipment which is in any unsafe condition; or

(B) The employee's failure or refusal to engage in unsafe practices in violation of this chapter or of any standard, rule, regulation, citation or order issued under the authority of this chapter;

(2) Upon discretion of the director or request, names of complainants may be withheld from the employer;

(3) No person shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee because the employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this chapter, or has testified or intends to testify in any such proceeding, or acting to exercise or exercised on behalf of the employee or others any right afforded by this chapter;

(4) Any employee who believes that there has been a discharge or discrimination against the employee by any person in violation of this subsection may, within sixty days after the violation occurs, file a complaint with the director alleging unlawful discharge or discrimination and setting forth the circumstances thereof;

(5) Upon receipt of the complaint, the director shall investigate to determine if a discharge or discrimination in violation of this subsection has occurred;

(6) If upon investigation the director determines that the provisions of this subsection have been violated, the director shall order the employer to provide all appropriate relief to the employee, including rehiring or reinstating the employee to the former position with back pay and restoration of seniority;

(7) Within ninety days of receipt of a complaint filed under this subsection, unless extended by the director, the director shall notify the employee of the final determination and any subsequent action the department will take to resolve the complaint; and

(8) Nothing in this subsection shall preclude any employee or representative of an employee from simultaneously pursuing a cause of action for injunctive relief or any other remedy provided by law.

(f) Except for those complainants alleging violations under subsection (e) above, names of all complainants and witnesses shall be withheld from the employer unless prior permission is given by the complainant or witness to release the complainant's or witness' name. [L 1972, c 57, pt of 1; am L 1974, c 152, 4; am L 1976, c 95, 7; am L 1977, c 179, 2; gen ch 1985; am L 1993, c 204, 1]


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