Category Archives: OSHA Administration

Subscribe to OSHA Administration RSS Feed

N.D. Indiana: Employer Bears Burden of Proving Whistleblower Exhausted Administrative Remedies

On February 1, 2016, the Northern District of Indiana ruled in a case brought under the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) that whether a whistleblower has fulfilled relevant administrative requirements prior to filing suit is a “condition precedent” rather than a “jurisdictional requirement.”  King v. Ind. Harbor Belt R.R., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43263 (N.D. … Continue Reading

OSHA Releases Final Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Regulations

OSHA recently released its final rule implementing the whistleblower provisions of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (“CFPA”).  The following are the key features of the rule:       Deadline for Filing a Complaint:  A complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged retaliation.  OSHA’s rule notes that such a complaint … Continue Reading

“Reasonable Cause” Standard Highlighted In OSHA’s Revised Whistleblower Investigations Manual

On January 28, 2016, OSHA issued a revised Whistleblower Investigations Manual (“Manual”) outlining procedures for the handling of retaliation complaints under the various whistleblower statutes that OSHA oversees.  Chapter 3 of the Manual, titled “Conduct of the Investigation,” states that the burden of proof to be applied by investigators is “whether there is a reasonable … Continue Reading

OSHA Implements New Whistleblower Training Program for Investigators

A recent audit conducted by Inspector General (OIG) concluded that the training provided to OSHA whistleblower complaint investigators could be improved in material respects (we previously blogged about the OIG’s audit here).  It found that the absence of an official training directive combined with complex statutes, policies and procedures created an environment where training was lacking. … Continue Reading

OIG’s Audit Of OSHA Whistleblower Programs

On September 30, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) published the findings of its audit of OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Programs (Whistleblower Programs).  The audit focused on (1) determining what improvements have been made to the Whistleblower Programs, and (2) what improvements still need to be made.  Though the report … Continue Reading

OSHA Updates Whistleblower Manual, Focusing On Damages And Settlement Agreements

On May 21, 2015, OSHA—which has responsibility for investigating and enforcement under 22 whistleblower retaliation statutes—released an updated edition of its Whistleblower Investigations Manual (the Manual), the first such update since September 2011.  The new edition provides additional guidance to investigators on a variety of issues, with the majority of changes related to potentially available … Continue Reading

OSHA’s Recent Guidance on Whistleblower Retaliation Investigations

The Directorate of Whistleblower Protection Programs recently issued a guidance memorandum titled “Clarification of the Investigative Standard for OSHA Whistleblower Investigations,” for the apparent purpose of clarifying the standards for its whistleblower investigations.  A review of this memorandum provides employers with insight as to the standard OSHA uses to determine whether a merits finding is in … Continue Reading

Proskauer Joins Heads of SEC and OSHA Whistleblower Programs for 3/31/15 Webinar

Please join us for a webinar with heads of the SEC and OSHA whistleblower programs and a prominent plaintiff-side whistleblower attorney, titled: Whistleblower Reward and Retaliation Claims: Current Developments. Register here:  REGISTER Our distinguished panel will include: Sean X. McKessy – Chief, Securities and Exchange Commission Office of the Whistleblower Anthony Rosa – Department of Labor, … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Long-Awaited SOX Whistleblower Rule

On March 5, 2015, OSHA issued a long-awaited Final Rule regarding SOX whistleblower procedures and related matters. The new Final Rule will replace the Interim Final Rule enacted in 2011, after Dodd-Frank amended SOX. The Final Rule largely follows the Interim Final Rule, even though commenters expressed a range of serious concerns. One key revision … Continue Reading

Consumer Financial Product Whistleblower Complaints Up Dramatically, SOX Complaints (with OSHA) Down

Since the enactment of Dodd-Frank in 2010, the number of whistleblower complaints filed under the Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”) has risen significantly while the number of SOX complaints filed with OSHA has largely declined.  According to data provided by OSHA, the total number of whistleblower complaints has generally increased over the past ten years.  This … Continue Reading

Co-Chair Connie Bertram Participates in ABA Panel Concerning OSHA Whistleblower Actions with Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith

On September 18, 2014, the ABA’s Labor & Employment Law Section sponsored a program called “SOX, OSHA and Beyond:  Litigating Whistleblower Claims at the DOL.”  M. Patricia Smith, Solicitor of the Department of Labor, Connie N. Bertram, Partner and Co-Chair of the Proskauer Whistleblower Group, and Jason Zuckerman of Zuckerman Law participate in the program’s … Continue Reading

OSHA Orders Company to Pay SOX Whistleblower Back Wages

According to its recent press release, OSHA issued a preliminary order requiring SpongeTech Delivery Systems, Inc. of New York (Company), a cleaning product company, to pay a complainant $31,835.33 in back wages based on its determination that she was retaliated against in violation of Section 806 of SOX.  Complainant apparently reported fraudulent sales to Company … Continue Reading

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Asks Congress to Increase OSH Act Whistleblower Statute of Limitations

On April 29, 2014, David Michaels, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, testified before the U.S. Senate subcommittee of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions regarding proposed changes to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (“OSH Act”) whistleblower provision. After highlighting some the recent changes in the … Continue Reading

Senators Grassley, Alexander Question Effectiveness of DOL’s Whistleblower Protection Program

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Risk and Compliance Journal, on April 29, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) sent a letter to OSHA questioning the effectiveness of OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program (“WPP”).  Considering this in context, it should be noted that in 2009 and 2010, two governmental “watchdogs” released reports critical … Continue Reading

OSHA Releases Interim Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Regulations

OSHA recently released the interim final text of regulations implementing the whistleblower protection provision (Section 1057) in Dodd-Frank. The interim final regulations establish the timing and processes for handling Dodd-Frank whistleblower complaints, including the procedures for filing a complaint with OSHA, OSHA’s investigation of the complaint, issuance of a decision and order, and appeals.  OSHA … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Substantial Award To SOX Whistleblower Claiming “Blacklisting”

According to a news release from OSHA, OSHA recently ordered DISH Network (the “Company”) to pay a former employee over $257,000 in back wages and compensatory damages, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees, and to expunge his employment record after it determined that the Company violated Section 806 of SOX.… Continue Reading

Webinar With Leaders From SEC, CFTC and OSHA Whistleblower Programs, Proskauer and Plaintiff-Side Attorney

On April 30, at 12:00 – 1:30 Central, Proskauer will participate in a webinar through BNA with leaders from the SEC, CTFC and OSHA whistleblower programs and a plaintiffs’-side whistleblower attorney.  The webinar will focus on cutting-edge developments in the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank whistleblower arenas.  The program, which will provide a range of competing perspectives, … Continue Reading

OSHA Introduces New Online Whistleblower Complaint Form

As first reported by Law 360 reporter Kat Greene on December 5, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) unveiled a new online complaint form to complement its telephone hotline.  The nineteen-question form is not tailored in any respect to SOX whistleblowers.  Rather, the form requires the complainant to describe … Continue Reading

Video Interview: Discussing OSHA’s Most Recent Whistleblower Award with LXBN TV

As a follow-up to our post on the most recent whistleblower award being handed out by OSHA–which exceeded $1M–I spoke once again with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN on the matter. In this interview, I share my thoughts on this growing trend of large whistleblower awards from OSHA and the implications it has for employers in a … Continue Reading
LexBlog