Search form

OSHA Releases New Online Whistleblower Complaint Form for Workers

By Joseph Dreesen
  • August 7, 2017

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released a  revised online whistleblower complaint form.

In an announcement, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt said, “Workers who report unsafe conditions and wrongdoing have a range of legal protections from retaliation. The revised online complaint form works to ensure whistleblowers file their complaints with the appropriate federal agency for prompt action.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 makes employers responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s whistleblower statutes protect workers from retaliation, or “adverse action,” against workers who report injuries, safety concerns, or other protected activity.

Since passage of the 1970 safety and health law, Congress has expanded OSHA’s whistleblower authority to protect workers under the whistleblower provisions of 22 statutes, including various securities laws, trucking, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, rail, public transportation, workplace safety and health, and consumer protection laws. Workers have a certain number of days, ranging from 30 days to 180 days after an alleged retaliation, to file their complaint.

The updated form, available in English and Spanish, prompts individuals through a series of questions, such as:

  • Have you suffered an “adverse action”?
  • When did you suffer the most-recent adverse action?
  • Why do you believe you suffered the adverse action(s)?

Each question leads users to another question, until the form is complete. OSHA said that one new feature of its reporting system is the addition of pop-up boxes to the complaint form with information about various agencies for individuals who respond that they engaged in protected activity that may be addressed by an agency other than OSHA.

Under federal law, workers are protected from “adverse action,” including firing or laying off, blacklisting, demoting, denying overtime or promotion, disciplining, denying benefits, failing to hire or rehire, intimidating/harassing, making threats, reassigning in a way that affects prospects for promotion, and reducing pay or hours.

OSHA provides information about employee whistleblower rights, including fact sheets, online at http://www.whistleblowers.gov/.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist this and other workplace developments.

©2017 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Reproduction of this material in whole or in part is prohibited without the express prior written consent of Jackson Lewis P.C., a law firm that built its reputation on providing workplace law representation to management. Founded in 1958, the firm has grown to more than 900 attorneys in major cities nationwide serving clients across a wide range of practices and industries including government relations, healthcare and sports law. More information about Jackson Lewis can be found at www.jacksonlewis.com.

See AllRelated Articles You May Like

August 21, 2019

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Agency Proposes Changes to Hours of Service Rules for Truck Drivers

August 21, 2019

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on changes to the hours of service (HOS) rules. Background First adopted in 1937, FMCSA’s HOS rules set the permitted operating hours of commercial drivers. FMCSA mandated use of... Read More

June 25, 2019

The Aging Construction Industry: Keeping Skilled Employees Longer

June 25, 2019

Workers in the construction industry tend to be older than those in other industries, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The median age of construction workers is 42 years old, a year older than the median in the national labor force. Further, the median age of workers in the industry is 44-45 years old in several U.... Read More

January 23, 2019

U.S. House Committee to Focus on Workforce Protections

January 23, 2019

Signaling a renewed emphasis on workforce protections at the opening of the 116th Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives has changed the name of its committee with jurisdiction over labor matters back to the Committee on Education and Labor. It was called the Committee on Education and the Workforce when Republicans held the... Read More

Related Practices