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OSHA Pilot Program to Allow for Expedited Case Processing

The Western Region of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched its Expedited Case Processing Pilot, which allows whistleblowers to request OSHA to expedite its findings during an investigation.

For a complainant’s case to be moved to the Office of Administrative Law Judges in an expedited manner, it must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The case is filed in a way that allows an administrative law judge (ALJ) to conduct a de novo review
  • Between 30 to 60 days has passed from the date the complaint was initially filed, depending on the statute in question
  • The complainant has been interviewed by OSHA officials
  • Federal investigators have reviewed the claim and determined whether or not it may qualify as a whistleblower retaliation claim
  • The complainant and respondent have both been given the opportunity to submit responses, present witness statements and meet with OSHA investigators
  • The complainant has received a copy of the respondent’s submissions and has been given ample time to make a response

If the case meets the above standards, OSHA will evaluate the claims in question and rule on whether or not it’s reasonable to believe that a violation has taken place. At that point, the federal agency may choose to dismiss the claim, provide its merit findings (as quickly as possible) or outright deny the complainant’s request for expedition.

This is an interesting initiative that could have an impact on how whistleblower complaints are handled both now and in the future. For further information on this development and various other issues related to whistleblower law, meet with a skilled Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

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