On May 17, 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its intent to establish a Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee. The committee will advise, consult with and make recommendations to the Department of Labor on ways to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of OSHA’s administration of whistleblower protections.
OSHA’s whistleblower authority protects employees who report violations of various workplace, airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime and securities laws. OSHA prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees for filing an OSHA complaint, participating in an inspection or talking to an inspector, seeking access to employer exposure and injury records, and raising a safety or health complaint with the employer.
The committee will advise OSHA on the development and implementation of improved customer service models, enhancements in the investigative and enforcement process, training, and regulations governing OSHA investigations. In addition, it will advise OSHA in cooperative activities with other federal agencies that are responsible for areas covered by the whistleblower protection statutes enforced by OSHA.