The 2016 Fiscal Year budget proposals set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor indicate that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has requested an additional $49 million for its 2016 budget. That money would go toward hiring 90 new full-time employees, 60 of whom would specifically be dedicated to federal enforcement tasks.
Of that $39 million, approximately $5.1 million will be allocated to whistleblower protection programs, meaning that in 2016, total funding for those programs would be up to $22.6 million. The new $5.1 million would allow for 22 full-time staff members dedicated to OSHA’s whistleblower programs and cases.
OSHA says that the increase in funding is necessary for the whistleblower protection program, because of how rapidly the number of whistleblower cases has been increasing throughout the United States. New laws that have been instituted within the past five years have afforded whistleblowers levels of protection that they did not previously have, which has made them unafraid to step out and report information about wrongdoing and fraud within their companies.
The additional funding would allow OSHA to improve the quality and timeliness of all of its investigations into these whistleblower complaints, as well as the access to information about whistleblower rights to anyone who does choose to file such a complaint.
The requested funding increase would indicate that federal agencies believe that the trend of whistleblower complaints will continue to increase. With the federal government having plenty of money allocated to reward whistleblowers whose information leads to major settlements, there is certainly plenty of incentive for whistleblowers to speak up.
For further information related to how to file a whistleblower complaint, consult a skilled Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.