OSHA adds State Plan whistleblower info to webpage

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Washington — OSHA has added two series of FAQs to its State Plan whistleblower information website.

The first series of FAQs addresses options for filing retaliation complaints in states and territories that operate State Plans, the timeline for filing complaints, and what to expect if your complaint is referred to a State Plan.

The other provides an overview of complaints that are filed with federal OSHA and a State Plan, also known as “dually filed complaints.” It also addresses how to get federal OSHA to review a State Plan’s investigation and how to file a complaint about State Plan administration, or CASPA.

Twenty-nine State Plans are in effect, with seven covering only state and local governments.

“Each state and territory listed above operating a State Plan must enforce an occupational safety and health law that is as protective as or more protective than the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which includes an anti-retaliation section known as 11(c),” the webpage states.

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Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

OSHA to host virtual meeting on Whistleblower Protection Program

Original article published by Safety+Health

Photo: OSHA

Washington — OSHA has scheduled a virtual public meeting for May 10 to hear stakeholder input on how it can improve outreach and training efforts for its Whistleblower Protection Program.

In particular, OSHA is seeking responses to these questions:

  • What can the agency do to improve the Whistleblower Protection Program’s website?
  • What additional materials would be beneficial for the agency to make publicly available on its website?
  • What types of whistleblower training videos or presentations would be useful for the public to better understand the whistleblower laws enforced by OSHA?
  • How can OSHA better engage with complainants and respondents?

According to a notice published in the April 4 Federal Register, the meeting is slated for 1 p.m. Eastern. Anyone interested in attending the meeting must register by May 3. Relevant comments must be submitted by May 24.

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DOL to hold virtual meeting to solicit public input on OSHA whistleblower program improvements

First published by OSHA

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Agency seeks comments on healthcare worker retaliation concerns

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold a virtual meeting May 18, 2022, to solicit public comments and suggestions on issues facing OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program.

This is the ninth in a series of meetings on how the agency can improve the whistleblower program, particularly concerning healthcare workers.

Open to the public, the meeting will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET via telephone and virtually via Zoom. The agency will provide Spanish language translation during the meeting. Those interested in joining or participating in the meeting must register in English or Spanish by May 11, 2022. There is no fee to register.

OSHA is seeking comments on:

  1. How can OSHA deliver better whistleblower customer service?
  2. What kind of assistance can OSHA provide to help explain the agency’s whistleblower laws to employees and employers?
  3. What can OSHA do to ensure that healthcare workers are protected from retaliation for raising concerns related to COVID-19?

Submit comments at the Federal eRulemaking Portal and identify using Docket No. OSHA-2018-0005. The deadline for submitting comments is May 11, 2022. Read the Federal Register notice for details.

Learn more about OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program.

McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

COVID-19 whistleblowing

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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New fact sheet from OSHA

Washington — A new fact sheet from OSHA details protections for employees who report workplace health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, and includes other relevant information for whistleblowers.

Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 contains anti-retaliation provisions for all employers except most federal, state and local government workers. U.S. Postal Service employees, however, are covered.

Activities related to COVID-19 that are protected include reporting an infection/exposure or unsafe condition to an employer or OSHA. The fact sheet provides examples of retaliation, including being fired or laid off.

OSHA notes that, under the OSH Act, the deadline for filing a retaliation complaint is 30 days after an employee “learns of the adverse action.” It also details what happens after a complaint is filed, what to do about a “dangerous situation” at work and what happens after a Section 11(c) investigation.

If an OSHA regional administrator dismisses the complaint, the employee may seek a review of the dismissal by the Directorate of Whistleblower Protection Programs by filing a request within 15 calendar days of receiving the dismissal letter.

McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

OSHA reminder: Workers have whistleblower rights during COVID-19 pandemic

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Washington — Retaliation against workers who report unsafe or unhealthy conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic is illegal, OSHA is reminding employers.

An April 8 press release from the agency lists forms of retaliation, including firings, demotions, denials of promotion or overtime, and reductions in pay or hours.

Workers can file whistleblower complaints with OSHA – online or via phone at (800) 321-6742 – if they believe their employer has retaliated against them. The agency protects whistleblowers under 23 statutes.

“Employees have the right to safe and healthy workplaces,” acting OSHA administrator Loren Sweatt said in the release. “Any worker who believes that their employer is retaliating against them for reporting unsafe working conditions should contact OSHA immediately.”