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Final OSHA Rule Established for Handling Nuclear, Environmental Retaliation Complaints

March 10, 2011
"Silenced workers are not safe workers."

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its final rule concerning whistleblower retaliation complaints under the Energy Organization Act of 1974, and six environmental statutes consistent with retaliation complaint procedures.

These regulations allow workers to file complaints in writing, orally, and in other languages, improving access to the complaint-filing process for workers who may have difficulty submitting written complaints. Workers will receive copies of documents submitted by the employer responding to the whistleblower complaints, subject to privacy and confidentially laws.

The rule covers workers who voice concerns related to nuclear or environmental safety or security under clean air and water, safe drinking water, solid waste, and toxic substances, among others.

"Silenced workers are not safe workers," commented Asst. Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "Changes in the whistleblower provisions make good on the promise to stand by those workers who have the courage to come forward when they believe their employer is violating an environmental or nuclear safety law."