Proposed OSHA budget would increase whistleblower protection funding
Washington – Funding for OSHA’s whistleblower protection programs would receive a $4 million increase under President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal for the Department of Labor.
The Obama administration is seeking to provide OSHA with $565 million for the year, beginning Oct. 1, which would return the agency’s funding levels to about those enacted in FY 2013 before automatic spending cuts were put in place. OSHA’s current-year budget is $552.3 million.
Whistleblower protection funding has steadily increased over the past couple of years, but some stakeholder groups contend current laws fail to protect workers from retaliation for reporting safety hazards.
In addition to the increase to whistleblower protection, the proposed budget would increase funding for federal enforcement by about $3 million and increase funding for state programs by nearly $4 million. It also would increase the number of full-time OSHA employees by 27.
In the coming months, the House and the Senate will consider the proposed budget and pass legislation appropriating funding for the federal government. Later, the two chambers must reach an agreement on the funding for it to be enacted.