NWC comments to OSHA on regs for NTSSA, FRSA, STAA and CPSIA

Yesterday, the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) submitted comments to the Department of Labor (DOL) on three sets of regulations for whistleblower cases. DOL had issued the interim regulations on August 31, 2010. One set of regulations, 29 CFR Part 1982, covers whistleblower cases from both the Federal Rail Safety Act (FRSA), 49 U.S.C. § 20109, and the National Transit System Security Act (NTSSA), 6 U.S.C. § 1142. Another new set, 29 CFR Part 1983, covers claims under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), 15 U.S.C. § 2087. The third set amends the regulations at 29 CFR Part 1978 that apply to truck driver cases under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA). NWC’s comments on these regulations are substantially the same for all three sets. I raised concerns about (1) requiring 15-days notice before filing claims in U.S. District Court when the statutes do not contain any such limitation on going to federal court; (2) lack of specificity in allowing staff to redact information from employer submissions to comply with "other confidentiality laws;" and (3) adding a difficult procedural hurdle for parties by requiring that all issues to be raised to the Administrative Review Board (ARB) be stated in the petition for review that must be filed within 10 days of issuance of the decision of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). On this last point, I am concerned that the ARB will use this procedural hurdle to avoid deciding cases on the merits. It will also discourage attorneys from taking whistleblower cases to the DOL and make it harder for us to find attorneys for all the whistleblowers that contact us for help. You can read my comments by following these links: CPSIA, STAA, NTSSA and FRSA. You can explore the public dockets containing other comments by following these links: CPSIA, STAA, NTSSA and FRSA.

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