Search Site

Congress Considers More Whistleblower Protections for Oil Industry

Several lawmakers in Congress are proposing a bill to expand whistleblower protections for those in the oil industry working on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). These workers are playing key roles in oil and gas exploration, production, drilling and spill cleanup.

The bill, called the Offshore Oil and Gas Worker Whistleblower Protection Act of 2015, would offer greater protections for OCS workers, who at this point lack the federal safeguards afforded to others in the energy industry.

Aiming to prevent future accidents

According to Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, there is evidence to suggest workers knew of potential problems with the Deepwater Horizon oilrig, which exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. These individuals did not speak out, DeSaulnier says, out of fear that they would be fired or suffer some form of retaliation. The proposed bill aims to make the reporting of wrongdoing easier and less risky for OCS workers.

The bill, which is currently in the House Education and Workforce Committee, would make it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers who report violations of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, either to a supervisor or a federal official. It would also provide protections for employees reporting unsafe work conditions or those who refuse to work in conditions they reasonably believe are in violation of the law.

If passed, the bill would likely bring the protections offered to OCS workers in line with the oil and gas industry in general. Employees in the energy industry have the right to report violations of state and federal regulations, as well as excessive hazards that could result in serious accidents and injuries. It’s important for oil and gas companies to understand these regulations and what they need to do when workers report potential problems.

For more information on this proposed bill and what it could mean for OCS workers and employers alike, speak with Steve Kardell at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Awards & Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
As Seen In
In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.