Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a major upgrade in the area of whistleblower enforcement. According to OSHA’s announcement, the Office of the Whistleblower Protection Program now reports directly to the Labor Department’s Office of the Assistant Secretary. Previously, the program reported to the Director of Enforcement Programs.
The upgrade means that the head of OSHA now oversees the Whistleblower Protection Program. The Program currently enforces 21 whistleblower statutes, and the agency hopes the upgrade will strengthen enforcement overall. An OSHA official commented that workers’ ability to speak out and protect their rights without fear of retaliation is basic protections afforded to all workers in America.
The Whistleblower statutes protect workers from retaliation or adverse action by employers for reporting safety violations in the workplace. Protection extends to violations of an airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, and securities laws.
Approved by attorney Justin Beall