OSHA Seeing Reports Under New Whistleblower Acts
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it is now overseeing worker retaliation complaints filed under two new whistleblower statutes: the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
Information on the new acts include:
OSHA has yet to issue final rules for these statutes; until it does, complaints will be processed using procedures under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century.
Recent Whistleblower Background
In April, the DOL issued a bulletin reminding employers that they cannot retaliate against workers reporting unsafe conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
OSHA released the memo to employers reminding them that acts of retaliation such as termination, demotion, denial of overtime or promotion, or reduction in pay or hours are illegal.
“Employees have the right to safe and healthy workplaces,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt. “Any worker who believes that their employer is retaliating against them for reporting unsafe working conditions should contact OSHA immediately.”
In the bulletin, OSHA pointed to its Whistleblower Protection Program and noted that workers have the right to file a whistleblower complaint “if they believe their employer has retaliated against them for exercising their rights under the whistleblower protection laws enforced by the agency.”
The agency noted that it enforces the whistleblower provisions of more than 20 whistleblower statutes protecting employees in various environments including safety and health, airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, motor vehicle safety, healthcare reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, securities and tax laws.
After that, OSHA held a series of meetings. At one such meeting, in May, OSHA asked for comments on: