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Category Archives: Department of Labor

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Decisions of DOL Administrative Review Board January – April 2016

Posted in Department of Labor, News
The Administrative Review Board issues final agency decisions for the Secretary of Labor in cases arising under a wide range of worker protection laws, primarily involving environmental, transportation, and securities whistleblower protection.  The below list includes decisions of the Administrative Review Board from January to April 2016 as reported in the USDOL/OALJ Reporter: April 2016 Gupta v. Compunnel Software Group,… Continue Reading

OSHA Launches Whistleblower Severe Violator Pilot in Kansas City Region

Posted in Department of Labor, News
On May 31, 2016 the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced it had launched a pilot for its first severe violator enforcement program for employers that continually and willfully disregard the rights of whistleblowers. OSHA’s “Whistleblower-Severe Violator Enforcement Program” will be similar to its enforcement Severe Violator Enforcement Program which includes employers that routinely ignore federal workplace… Continue Reading

Tell DOL: White Collar Criminals Don’t Deserve an Early Warning System

Posted in Department of Labor, News
The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fallen for a trap laid by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber and its big corporate allies have led a long campaign dedicated to eroding protections for whistleblowers who report crimes. One of their favorite tactics is to try to get whistleblowers to report issues to the company’s attorneys… Continue Reading

Senators Laud Labor Department’s ‘Burden of Proof’ Interpretation for Whistleblowers

Posted in Department of Labor, News
A bipartisan group of senators commended the Department of Labor, Administrative Review Board’s (ARB) interpretation of federal whistleblower protections provisions, clarifying the statutory burdens of proof in whistleblower cases. In two recent decisions, Fordham v. Fannie Mae, ARB No. 12-061 (Oct. 9, 2014) and Powers v. Union Pacific Railroad, ARB No. 13-034 (Mar. 20, 2105), the ARB found that employees should… Continue Reading

Big Win For Whistleblowers At Labor Department

Posted in Department of Labor, News
Washington, D.C. March 23, 2015. The U.S. Department of Labor’s top whistleblower appeals board issued a 3-2 ruling setting forth the burdens of proof in corporate whistleblower cases.  The decision, issued on Friday, March 20th by the DOL Administrative Review Board (Board) in the case of Powers v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, ARB Case No. 13-034, establishes an employee-friendly standard,… Continue Reading

Department of Labor to Hold Oral Arguments on Key Corporate Whistleblower Case

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Department of Labor, News
The Department’s Top Judges will Decide the “Burden of Proof” Whistleblower Must Meet to Prevail in Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Cases The Department of Labor Administrative Review Board (ARB) will hold oral arguments in the case of Powers v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, ARB Case No. 13-034 on Wednesday, January 14 at 2pm.  This case will decide the burden of… Continue Reading

ARB Decision Promotes Clarity And Uniformity In Whistleblower Cases

Posted in Department of Labor, News
In a long-overdue decision issued on October 9, 2014, the Department of Labor Administrative Review Board (ARB) finally clarified the standard of proof for employees to establish the “contributing factor” test in whistleblower retaliation cases arising under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act  (SOX) and other whistleblower statutes.  In a 2-to-1 panel decision in Fordham v. Fannie Mae, ARB No. 12-061, the ARB… Continue Reading

Recent Department of Labor Decisions

Posted in Department of Labor
The Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board is designated to issues final agency decisions under a number of laws, many of which include whistleblower provisions. The following links take you to the most recent decisions of the Office of Administrative Law Judges: April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014… Continue Reading

BNSF Railway Co. Agrees to Revise Personnel Policies That Violate Whistleblower Protection Laws

Posted in Department of Labor
In a January 15, 2013 press release, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that OSHA and BNSF Railway Co. had reached an agreement for the company to revise personnel policies that violate the whistleblowers provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act and discouraged employees from reporting work-related injuries.… Continue Reading

ARB issues decisions on summary decision, settlements and timeliness

Posted in Department of Labor
Today, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a summary of the September 2012 decisions of its Administrative Review Board (ARB).  The twelve decisions issued in September cover important procedural issues involving the time limits for filing complaints and petitions for review to the ARB, considering motions for summary decision, and approving settlement agreements. Read more about these decision in the… Continue Reading

Stephen Kohn and Richard Angino argue Wiest case before Third Circuit

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Department of Labor, Tax Whistleblowers
On October 5, 2012, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals conducted oral arguments in Wiest v. Lynch, a case that tests the scope of protection for whistleblowers under the 2002 Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX). Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, attorney Richard Angino argued the case for Jeffrey Wiest.  He generously shared his time with attorney Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the… Continue Reading

FRSA ALERT! Railroads Lose Power To Interfere With Injured Workers’ Medical Treatment!

Posted in Department of Labor
We are pleased to repost, with permission, this blog entry by Charlie Goetsch from trainlawblog.com, announcing a favorable and precedent-setting decision by the Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board (ARB). Congratulations to Charlie Goetsch for obtaining the outstanding result for his client, and for ending the era of railroad interference in the medical care of its workers. By Charlie Goetsch:… Continue Reading

DOL issues final regulations for consumer product whistleblowers

Posted in Department of Labor
The Department of Labor today issued final regulations for handling whistleblower complaints under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), 15 U.S.C. § 2087. On behalf of the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC), I submitted comments on the proposed regulations in 2010.  Today, DOL adopts some of my recommendations, and adopts a change in response to another recommendation.  DOL also added… Continue Reading

NWC Announces Seminar on New Whistleblower Laws

Posted in Department of Labor, Events
On Monday, July 16, 2012, the National Whistleblowers Center will host a 2-hour training seminar that covers new whistleblower laws and the special Department of Labor litigation process. These new laws cover millions of employees who blow the whistle on a wide variety of issues, so this training is absolutely essential for attorneys, journalists, community and union leaders, and anybody… Continue Reading

OSHA orders railroad to pay $800,000 to three injured workers

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Department of Labor
This week, OSHA found that Norfolk Southern Railway Co., a major transporter of commodities based in Norfolk, Virginia, owed over $800,000 in damages to three whistleblowers. These actions are the most recent of a number of OSHA decisions against Norfolk Southern Railway Co. in the past year. OSHA found that the company continues to retaliate against employees for reporting work-related… Continue Reading

Federal Circuit finally gets due process and “clear and convincing”

Posted in Department of Labor, Government Whistleblowers
In this week’s Honesty Without Fear radio program, I interviewed Robert "Bob" Whitmore and his lawyer, Paula Dinerstein, about the landmark decision Whitmore won from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit last week. The Federal Circuit has finally put to rest the unfortunate practice of judges at the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) of allowing the agency… Continue Reading

NWC amicus brief urges protection for railroad workers

Posted in Department of Labor
Today, attorney Stephen Kohn (Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center) and I are filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board (ARB). The brief urges the ARB to affirm a decision of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in favor of Christopher Bala, a signalman for the PATH railway that carries commuters between New Jersey… Continue Reading

ARB says SOX covers contractor’s employees; rejects Lawson

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Department of Labor
The U.S. Department of Labor, Administrative Review Board (ARB) issued a precedent setting decision last week holding that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) does protect the employees of contractors to publicly traded companies.  The decision is particularly noteworthy as the ARB rejected the First Circuit decision in Lawson v. FMR, LLC, Case No. 10-2240 (1st Cir. 2012). The ARB decision is… Continue Reading

OSHA announces Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee

Posted in Department of Labor
In a notice published in yesterday’s Federal Register, Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, announced the formation of the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC). The notice explains:  WPAC’s duties will be solely advisory and consultative. WPAC will advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary on ways to improve… Continue Reading