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Total Articles: 15

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part: Staff Decreases, Whistleblower Claim Increases Strain OSHA

A February 20, 2019 article from Bloomberg Law provides statistics to explain the significant delays experienced by litigators and attorneys alike in Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s investigation of whistleblower claims A substantial increase in the number of whistleblower complaints filed with OSHA over the past five years and a contemporaneous decrease in the number of investigators available to investigate these claims has led to longer waits for OSHA decisions and delays in the adjudication of claims.

OSHA Releases New Online Whistleblower Complaint Form for Workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released a revised online whistleblower complaint form.

OSHA Says Workers Do Not Have to Waive Whistleblower Rights

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued new guidance designed to protect the rights of whistleblowers who reach settlements approved by OSHA.

OSHA Makes it Harder to Settle Whistleblower Claims

As you may or may not know, OSHA administers the whistleblower portions of about 22 federal statutes. Similar to the recent information from the SEC about problematic language in settlement agreements, OSHA, in its role as administer of the whistleblower program, has recently announced its new guidelines for approving settlement agreements for whistleblower actions.

OSHA Tests New Program to Expedite Whistleblower Claims

In an effort to speed up claims under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Whistleblower Protection Program, the Labor Department’s San Francisco region has launched a new process, called the “Expedited Case Processing Pilot.” Under the new process, OSHA may halt certain whistleblower investigations at the complainant’s request and issue findings for the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges to issue a final ruling.

New OSHA Whistleblower ‘Shaming’ Program Draws Fire

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a pilot program in the Midwest region to shame employers who allegedly violate their employees’ whistleblower rights egregiously, but a critic contends the initiative may violate a company’s due process rights and unfairly ruin its business reputation.

OSHA Issues Rules for Food Safety Whistleblower Cases

On April 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued final procedural rules for investigating whistleblower cases under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The new rules give employees who are retaliated against for exposing possible food safety violations the right to reinstatement, money damages, and attorney’s fees – and even to a jury trial in federal court.

A Whistleblower on OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program

Darrell Whitman is a former attorney and professor who became an Office of Whistleblower Protection Programs (OWPP) investigator in 2010. Whitman was a GS-12 Regional Investigator for OWPP, the U.S. Department of Labor, and OSHA. In 2011, Whitman and several other investigators began challenging abuses of power in OWPP’s Region 9 offices in San Francisco.

OSHA Relaxes Pleading Standards in Whistleblower Cases, More Complaints Expected

Employers face the possibility of an increase in whistleblower complaints under new guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that relaxes the standard for investigators tasked with determining if a violation of a whistleblower statute exists. OSHA provides whistleblower protection under 22 federal statutes.

OSHA publishes New Whistleblower Investigations Manual

On January 28, 2016, OSHA released an updated Whistleblower Investigations Manual (OSHA Instruction CPL 02-03-005) to replace the manual dated April 21, 2015. The new manual makes three significant changes:

OSHA Issues Revised Whistleblower Investigations Manual

Continuing its emphasis on its Whistleblower Protection Program, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an updated Whistleblower Investigations Manual on May 21, 2015. OSHA enforces whistleblower provisions contained in 22 separate statutes, including Section 11(c) of OSHA-Act, the Affordable Care Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, and the recently added Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (relating to motor vehicle safety). The updated Whistleblower Investigations Manual contains several notable changes to Chapter 6 (“Remedies and Settlement Agreements”). They include the following:

Legal Alert: Whistleblowing Made Easy: OSHA's New On-Line Complaint Procedure Has Gone Live

Executive Summary: The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") recently made it easier for disgruntled employees to file whistleblower complaints against their current or former employers. Going forward, employees who believe they have been subjected to retaliation for complaining about an alleged violation of one of the 22 statutes for which OSHA enforces whistleblower protections can file complaints on-line on the OSHA website.

OSHA Debuts Online Form For Whistleblowers To File Complaints

The process of filing whistleblower complaints just became a lot easier. On December 5, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) launched a new system that will allow workers to file whistleblower retaliation complaints online.

OSHA to Introduce Online Whistleblower Complaint Form

The process of filing whistleblower complaints is about to get a lot easier. On July 26, 2013, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which is one of the offices within the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, approved a form that will allow workers and their union representatives to file online retaliation complaints under any of the 22 whistleblower statutes administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA has not yet indicated when it will make the form available for use on its website.

OSHA Criticizes Safety-Incentive Programs, Encourages Whistleblowers

For several years, we have encouraged employers to move away from safety-management programs which primarily track the program's effectiveness based upon recordable injuries, and which utilize monetary-incentive programs based on the number of recordable workplace injuries. Our principal reason for discouraging such programs is that recordable incidents focus on "lagging" indicators, may not identify causes, and may be affected by the capriciousness of timing and "bad luck."
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