OSHA Updates Whistleblower Investigations Manual, First Major Overhaul Since 2011

Close-up of a book with sticky tabs sticking out of the bottom

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised the Whistleblower Investigations Manual for the agency in the “first complete overhaul since 2011,” according to an August 11 press release.

The press release states that the new version of the manual “supersedes the January 2016 version.” According to the document, the manual “outlines procedures and other information relative to the handling of retaliation complaints under the various whistleblower statutes for which responsibility was delegated to OSHA.” The manual “may be used as a ready reference.”

OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program enforces 25 whistleblower statutes, conducts investigations, and issues decisions regarding whistleblowers.

According to the press release, the new version of the manual includes “past policy memoranda and procedures piloted by OSHA field offices,” clarifications of “procedures that lacked sufficient guidance or were unclear” in the previous version, and an updated section in Chapter 2 that “collects and explains the legal concepts and principles that guide whistleblower investigations.” The new version also removed “statute-specific chapters” and converted the content “into statute-specific desk aids.”

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker said in the press release, “We are working to improve our whistleblower program to help ensure workers have a voice on the job free of retaliation.”

Read the press release here. 

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