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OSHA Redesigns Whistleblower Protection Program Website. Is your Anti-Retaliation Program up to Date?

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July 22, 2019

By Tracey Truesdale and Jason Patterson

OSHA recently modernized its Whistleblower Protection Program Website. The redesigned site includes useful and interactive materials regarding whistleblower statutes enforced by OSHA, including a video that highlights industries that may fall under its jurisdiction. While the site includes an abundance of information regarding whistleblower laws and protections, employers should take note of the section highlighting the importance of an effective anti-retaliation program. These programs ensure that employees feel conformable reporting safety and other compliance issues to their employer without fear of retaliation. An effective anti-retaliation program documents the employer’s commitment to safety reporting, particularly when facing allegations of retaliatory conduct. Given the significant changes in law on the horizon that may impact worker safety issues (e.g., medical and recreational marijuana laws), it is important for employers to revisit their anti-retaliation program to ensure they are up to date and remain effective.       

As a reminder, OSHA isn’t limited to investigating violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s retaliation provisions.  The agency’s Whistleblower Protection Program is tasked with enforcing whistleblower provisions in over 20 other federal statutes, including the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) and Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). 

Tracey Truesdale, Sally Scott, and Jason Patterson regularly counsel employers on workplace safety concerns, including post-accident advice and representation as well as in enforcement actions involving OSHA and MSHA. For more information on developing or revising an anti-retaliation program, please contact Tracey, Jason, or any other Franczek attorney.

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