Gregory (Greg) Keating, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Boston office, was quoted in The Wall Street Journal, in “New Whistleblower Protection Laws Broaden OSHA’s Investigative Reach,” by Mengqi Sun.
Following is an excerpt:
New laws aimed at protecting whistleblowers in antitrust and anti-money-laundering cases are leading to a broader investigative role for the U.S. Labor Department.
The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which manages a wide-ranging whistleblower protection program, will now investigate complaints by individual whistleblowers who face retaliation for reporting antitrust- or money-laundering-related violations to their superiors or the federal government, the agency said in a notice late last week.
OSHA said it would also investigate complaints from whistleblowers who say they were retaliated against for assisting investigations or proceedings related to alleged antitrust- or money-laundering-related wrongdoing.
OSHA enforces anti-retaliation provisions of more than 20 statutes, covering protected activities related to workplace safety and health, consumer products, tax violations and other areas. The additional oversight comes as a result of the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act, which were signed into law in recent months.
The expansion of whistleblower rights through legislation and the anticipation of stepped-up enforcement means companies should double down on compliance, said Gregory Keating, a lawyer at law firm Epstein Becker & Green PC. That could include additional training, auditing of existing policies and protocols, and properly investigating every whistleblower claim, he said.