OSHA directive details new resolution process for whistleblower disputes


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Washington – A new OSHA directive outlines procedures for the agency’s new process in assisting early resolution of whistleblower disputes.

The new process is part of OSHA’s regional Alternative Dispute Resolution program, which facilitates whistleblower settlement negotiations. ADR processes aim to assist whistleblowers and respondents in resolving complaints in a cooperative and voluntary manner, and more quickly than through the traditional whistleblower investigative process.

OSHA ran an ADR pilot program in two regions from October 2012 to September 2013. The program was successful enough in resolving whistleblower disputes to prompt OSHA to expand the ADR program to all of its regions.

“OSHA receives several thousand whistleblower complaints for investigation each year,” OSHA administrator David Michaels said in a press release. “The Alternative Dispute Resolution process can be a valuable alternative to the expensive and time consuming process of an investigation and litigation.”

OSHA oversees whistleblower provisions under 22 statutes protecting employees who report violations of laws, including occupational safety, health insurance, food safety, transportation and nuclear.