Worksafe Resources

Worksafe Resources and Publications

Illegal Retaliation Against Workers for Exercising Health & Safety Rights: Remedies and Prevention

Resources For Workers

California Law

Federal Law

Special Laws for Immigrant Workers in California

Resources For Legal Aid and Other Advocates


In California, to file a complaint about Occupational Health and Safety, workers need to file with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH). If workers experience retaliation as a result of engaging in protected activity, workers would then have to file a retaliation complaint with the Labor Commissioner at the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).



Workers can also dual file their health and safety complaints with Federal OSHA and their retaliation complaints with the Whistleblower Protection Program.

Federal OSHA

The DLSE and Federal 11(c) processes are only two remedies for addressing retaliation. There are multiple other avenues available to workers including collective action and concerted activity, worker organizing, and utilizing media pressure. Options_to_address_retaliation_

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)

Private Right of Action

Policy Recommendations


Download our 2015 report, Improving OSH Retaliation Remedies for Workers (PDF). And click here to read a summary of our policy recommendations to address OSH-based illegal retaliation, informed by the many contributing stakeholders from worker centers, unions, government agencies, academic institutions, and others.

"Dying at Work in California: The Hidden Stories Behind the Numbers"

Worksafe's annual report, "Dying at Work in California: The Hidden Stories Behind the Numbers" is released in conjunction with Workers Memorial Day (April 28). The stories and statistics in the report are sobering reminders of the real human consequences of unabated hazards, the prioritizing of profit over safety and health, and the dangers workers face every day. With this report, we bear witness to the lives lost, and look to the future by providing recommendations for improving health and safety in California.

2011 Report
2012 Report
2013 Report
2014 Report
2015 Report
2017 Report

“Prevention Pays: Solutions to Help Workers and Businesses Thrive”

This 2011 report from Worksafe tallies the costs – human, financial, and social – of failures to protect workers’ health and safety on the job. We profile innovative solutions from different sectors. And we offer a range of common-sense recommendations to keep California’s workers healthy and safe, help employers succeed, and support the communities depending on both of them.

“Protecting and Advocating for Workers' Rights: Legal & Advocate Guide”

Worksafe is pleased to offer the available chapters of this manual.

Worksafe Manual, Part 1: Health and Safety Laws

  • Part 1.2, "Cal/OSHA" covers the California agency primarily responsible for oversight of workplace health and safety, California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), better known as Cal/OSHA.

Worksafe Manual, Part 2: Remedies for On-The-Job Injuries

  • Part 2.2, "Workers' Compensation" is designed to guide legal services providers and worker advocates in assisting unrepresented workers, or in representing workers through the pre-litigation stages of the workers’ compensation system. Topics included what injuries are covered, what benefits are available, how medical care is obtained, the specifics of temporary vs. permanent disability, death benefits, different types of settlements, and dispute resolution.

Worksafe Manual, Part 3: Retaliation

  • Part 3.2, "Retaliation In Workers' Compensation - Labor Code § 132a" covers the legal options available to injured workers who have been discriminated or retaliated against for exercising their rights under workers’ compensation. Claims made under §132a are discussed along with a brief summary of possible related causes of actions under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  • Part 3.4, "NLRB - A Viable Alternative" covers an additional legal approach in challenging workplace retaliation: Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, (“NLRA”). The chapter provides an overview of the tools that the NLRA affords to workers and includes a comparison of California Labor laws to the NLRA, a review of the rights of undocumented workers under the NLRA, and description of the process of filing a retaliation complaint under the NLRA.

Brochures and Factsheets: Remedies for Injured Workers

Wksf_brochures_250x250 How to Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits in California (English, Spanish, Cantonese)

Facts for Workers Who May Have a Permanent Disability (English, Spanish, Cantonese)

Facts for Workers Whose Employers Are Illegally Uninsured (English, Spanish, Cantonese)

Public Benefits for Injured Workers: The Interplay of Workers' Compensation and Other Available Benefits (English, Spanish)

Work Matters: Reducing Workplace Risks to Healthy Reproduction


Are you pregnant or planning to become pregnant? Are you exposed to chemicals at work? Many workplaces contain toxic chemicals and other hazards that can affect your health. Some chemicals pose special concerns to reproductive or developmental health. This booklet provides information on: (1) Finding out which chemicals you may be exposed to and their health effects (2) How to prevent harmful exposures (3) Your legal rights (4) Where to get help, and additional resources

Click here to download the booklet formatted for online viewing. For booklet layout format, click here.

You can also find this information, and the resources referenced in the booklet, in the Work Matters section of the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE) website.