OSHA Announces New Process for Resolving Whistleblower Claims
Officials at the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) have recently announced that they have implemented a new process for facilitating the resolution of whistleblower claims.
This process, which is part of the regional Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program already being used in Washington, is intended to help disputing parties negotiate settlements prior to trial “with the assistance of a neutral, confidential OSHA representative who has subject-matter expertise in whistleblower investigations,” OSHA has explained.
Commenting on the importance of this new process, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels has stated:
OSHA receives several thousand whistleblower complaints for investigation each year… The Alternative Dispute Resolution process can be a valuable alternative to the expensive and time consuming process of an investigation and litigation. It will provide whistleblower complainants and respondents the option of exploring voluntary resolution of their disputes outside of the traditional investigative process.
Such forms of ADR have traditionally been effective at helping litigants embroiled in various types of legal disputes come to mutually beneficial settlements while avoiding the expenses – and added time – associated with trial.
Do You Know Your Whistleblower Rights?
In light of OSHA’s new ADR processes for whistleblower claims, now is a good time to point out just what workers’ rights are under the OSH Act. As OSHA has noted, the general worker in the U.S. has the right to pursue a whistleblower claim without being subjected to retaliation (per Section 11(c) of the OSH Act).
In other words, an employer cannot take any adverse action against you just because you have exercised your right to file a whistleblower claim against that company (or a prior employer) or because you have aided or are aiding an ongoing whistleblower investigation/case.
Common examples of the “adverse actions” that employers are prohibited from carrying out include (but are by no means limited to):
- Firing, laying off or demoting you
- Refusing to hire (or rehire) you
- Passing over you for promotions or other opportunities
- Cutting back your pay and/or hours
- Denying you benefits (when other workers in your position/situation are provided benefits)
- Threatening and/or harassing you
- Giving you poor performance reviews even though your work is at or above par.
Contact an Atlanta Whistleblower Lawyer at the Law Firm of Barrett & Farahany, LLP
If you are ready to blow the whistle on a company’s illegal actions, you can turn to an experienced Atlanta whistleblower lawyer at the Law Firm of Barrett & Farahany, LLP for aggressive legal advocacy and the highest quality legal services. At Barrett & Farahany, we believe in helping people and protecting their rights, which is why our attorneys always provide our clients with the best representation while working diligently to help them obtain compensation and justice.
To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, contact us today by calling (404) 214-0120 or by emailing us using the contact form at the bottom of this screen.
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