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OSHA Announces Measures to Improve Whistleblower Protection Program

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced in a press release significant improvements to its Whistleblower Protection Program.   OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels explained:

The ability of workers to speak out and exercise their legal rights without fear of retaliation is crucial to many of the legal protections and safeguards that all Americans value.  The new measures will significantly strengthen OSHA’s enforcement of the 21 whistleblower laws that Congress charged OSHA with administering. . . .  OSHA is committed to correcting the issues brought to light by the GAO report and our own review.

The Employment Law Group® requested some of the very measures being adopted.  Significant changes to OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program include:

  • OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program will report directly to the assistant secretary instead of being housed in the Directorate of Enforcement.
  • OSHA will hold a national whistleblower training conference for all whistleblower investigators.
  • OSHA will issue a new edition of the Whistleblower Investigations Manual that will include the new laws enacted since its last revision in 2003.
  • OSHA’s audit program will be strengthened and expanded to ensure that complaints are properly handled.

Whistleblower advocates applaud OSHA for adopting the necessary reforms to strengthen protection for employees who report violations of workplace safety,airlinecommercial motor carrierconsumer productenvironmentalfinancial reform, food safety, health care reformnuclearpublic transportationrailroad, and securities laws.

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