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OSHA and NLRB will work together to protect whistleblowers

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Washington — OSHA and the National Labor Relations Board are collaborating to “strengthen the agencies’ partnership and outline procedures for information sharing, referrals, training and outreach” on federal whistleblower protections.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding announced Oct. 31, that cooperation involves coordinated investigations, enforcement and state programs.

Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 covers whistleblower protections, but OSHA is also charged with investigating retaliation and enforcing the anti-retaliation provisions of more than 20 statutes.

The memo also notes that many employee safety and health activities are protected by the OSH Act and the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.

“Everyone should be able to exercise their legal rights in the workplace without fear of losing their job or other forms of punishment,” OSHA administrator Doug Parker said in a press release. “Our partnership with the National Labor Relations Board will expand both of our agencies’ impact and effectiveness in protecting workers who raise concerns about workplace violations or retaliation.”

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