On Monday, August 1st, four federal agencies celebrated National Whistleblower Day with an event sponsored by the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus. This was the first time any federal agencies have ever recognized Whistleblower Day, although the U.S. Senate has passed a resolution four years in a row proclaiming July 30th as National Whistleblower Day.

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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 safety and health regulations. W-SVEP became effective on May 27, 2016, in the agency’s Kansas City Region, which includes employers in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, and those companies under federal enforcement in Iowa.
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On April 18, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration published a final rule establishing procedures for handling retaliation complaints under the Food Safety Modernization Act. The final rule explains the burdens of proof, remedies and statute of limitations similar to other whistleblower protection statutes that OSHA administers.
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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 or other company-led programs. They want to discourage reporting to law enforcement authorities, making it harder to rein in corruption on Wall Street and Corporate America at large.

Now the Chamber of Commerce is at it again and they’ve roped in OSHA to support them.

Take Action: tell the DOL they need to protect whistleblowers.
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Last Friday OSHA published an interim final rule, and invited public comment on whistleblower protections for reporting violations of Affordable Care Act’s health insurance reforms. The Affordable Care Act contains various provisions to make health insurance more affordable and accountable to consumers.
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