As it stands now, OSHA accepts whistleblower complaints from workers orally or in writing. A proposal would make it even easier to file these complaints.
OSHA has proposed adding additional methods for employees to submit retaliation complaints. Workers would be able to submit the form electronically or print it out from the Internet and submit it by fax, mail or in person.
In the proposal, which appeared in the Jan. 17 Federal Register, OSHA noted that with the addition of electronic filing, workers would be able to submit whistleblower complaints 24 hours a day.
OSHA also says electronic filing would reduce its complain processing time.
Not that OSHA has been slow about processing these complaints.
A report by Bloomberg says the number of whistleblower complaints handled by OSHA in 2012 increased to 2,867 from 2,013 in 2011 — a 42% jump.
Of the complaints handled, 592 (21%) produced settlements and 45 (2%) resulted in a finding or preliminary order by OSHA. The rest of the complaints (77%) were either withdrawn or dismissed.
OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program enforces the whistleblower provisions of more than twenty whistleblower statutes protecting employees who report violations of various workplace:
- commercial motor carrier
- consumer product
- financial reform
- food safety
- health insurance reform
- motor vehicle safety
- public transportation agency
- maritime, and
- securities laws.