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OSHA Seeks Nominations for New Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee

Posted in on Thu, Jul 12, 2012

From OSHA –

June 12, 2012

OSHA seeks nominations for membership on its Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is requesting nominations for membership on the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC).  OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of 21 statutes protecting employees who report violations of various workplace safety, airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food, safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime and securities laws.

The committee will advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Secretary of Labor and the Assistant Secretary of Occupational Safety and Health on matters relating to the improvement of the fairness, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of OSHA’s whistleblower protection activities.

WPAC will make recommendations on the development and implementation of improvements to customer service, the investigative and enforcement process, training of OSHA investigators, regulations governing OSHA investigations, cooperative activities with federal agencies responsible for areas also covered by the whistleblower protection statues enforced by OSHA, and other matters as identified by the Secretary or the Assistant Secretary.

The committee will be comprised of twelve voting members, appointed by the Secretary to serve two-year terms, to include:

  • Four management representatives who are employers or are from employer associations in industries covered by one or more of the whistleblower laws;
  • Four labor representatives who are workers or from worker advocacy organizations in industries covered by one or more of the whistleblower laws;
  • One member who represents the State Plan states; and
  • Three public representatives from colleges, universities, non-partisan think tanks, and/or other entities, that have extensive knowledge and expertise on whistleblower statutes and issues.

The committee will also have three non-voting members who are government employees from other Federal Government agencies with jurisdiction over statutes with whistleblower provisions.

 Nominations may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Submissions may also be sent via facsimile or mail.  See the Federal Register notice for details. Nominations must be submitted by July 27, 2012.

The whistleblower provision laws enacted by Congress prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who raise various protected concerns or provide protected information to the employer or to the government. Employees who believe they have been retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with the Secretary of Labor for an investigation by the Whistleblower Protection Program.

The 21 whistleblower statutes enforced by OSHA include: Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act; Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act; International Safe Container Act; Surface Transportation Assistance Act; Clean Air Act; Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act; Federal Water Pollution Control Act; Safe Drinking Water Act; Solid Waste Disposal Act; Toxic Substances Control Act; Energy Reorganization Act; Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century; Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act, Title VIII of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; Pipeline Safety Improvement Act; Federal Railroad Safety Act; National Transit Systems Security Act; Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act; Affordable Care Act; Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, Section 1057 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010; Seaman’s Protection Act, as amended by Section 611 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010; and the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act.  For more information, visit: http://www.whistleblowers.gov.

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