Under the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), employees typically only have 30 days to file a complaint about employer retaliation. However, OSHA has now reached an agreement with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that will allow OSHA to refer untimely claims to the NLRB’s whistleblower division for its own review. This will give employees a full six months to file their complaints about unfair practices in their company.
This is great news for potential whistleblowers, as the 30-day time limit was often too short for employees who are still usually just trying to process what has happened after their wrongful termination. The extended time period gives these employees more time to gather facts and prepare a case against their former employer before officially filing a complaint and taking legal action.
The OSH act forbids employers from discriminating against employees that report violations of safety, and gives employees the right to file complaints should employers retaliate after these reports. Additional rights are provided through the National Labor Relations Act, which prohibits employers from coercing or in any way restraining employees from exercising their rights of collective bargaining or protection. This new agreement will basically combine both of these rules.
OSHA and the NLRB state that in a given year, anywhere between 300 and 600 whistleblower claims will be dismissed simply because they missed the 30-day OSHA deadline. Now, most of those claims will be able to be heard by the NLRB so that employees can receive justice if they were truly discriminated against in the workplace.
For more information about this new partnership between OSHA and NLRB and how it could affect you and your potential case, speak to a team of Dallas whistleblower attorneys from Whistleblower Law for Managers.