OSHA Tasked by Congress to Protect Whistleblowers
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been tasked by Congress to enforce the whistleblower provisions of 22 different statutes. These laws protect workers in many industries throughout the country from retaliation when they report unsafe working conditions, fraud or something that would endanger the public.
The Department of Labor is reporting that since 2009 the number of new whistleblower cases has grown by 37 percent. The Federal government has responded to this increase by providing additional resources in the fiscal 2015 budget. With these funds, OSHA plans on hiring additional whistleblower investigators, and other employees who will handle OSHA’s training, statistical analysis, IT development and auditing functions.
Reporting injuries is a protected activity and a basic worker right under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA believes that if injuries aren’t reported, then hazards can’t be identified and corrected. In 2013, OSHA helped to award more than $24 million to whistleblowers across the country who had been retaliated against by their employers for exercising their rights.
To learn more about OSHA’s whistleblower protection program, visit here.