State and federal workplace safety regulations are intended to be preventive in nature, shielding workers from foreseeable dangers and occupational hazards. Routine inspections by official from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also help achieve that policy goal. Finally, whistleblowing or other protections may be available to workers who report potentially unsafe conditions or safety violations to OSHA officials, as today’s story illustrates.

According to reports, MGM Resorts International may have been allowing the employees at one of its resorts to disclose insider information to prospective condominium buyers. The practice, known as forecasting, is prohibited by applicable securities rules. In this case, condo units that are on the market might be considered securities if the seller engages in forecasting. 

Although the violation in this case doesn’t concern the usual workplace hazard, it does allege that MGM fired the employee after the employee reported the unlawful forecasting activities. The law mandates that licensed security brokers may only sell securities. Since the employee’s coworkers were implicated in the allegation, OSHA launched an investigation. The finding resulted in the employee’s reinstatement.

Unlawful coworker activities that endanger the workplace may implicate a number of laws and enforcement agencies. In California, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, is one such government agency charged with protecting workers from occupational hazards. However, it might be intimidating for a worker to contact Cal/OSHA on his or her own. Fortunately, an attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation issues might have confidence-boosting advice and reassurances to offer.

Source: vegasinc.com, “OSHA orders MGM to rehire whistle-blower, pay $325,000 in damages,” Ed Komenda, Sept. 5, 2013