Michael Slocum, an Associate in the Litigation and Health Care and Life Sciences practices, in the Newark office, wrote an article titled "A Layered Approach to Protecting CPSIA Whistleblowers." (Read the full article - subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

The U.S. Administrative Review Board (ARB) on March 28, 2012, held that the whistleblower protection provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA, or the act) are not limited to those who raise concerns only as to a "consumer product" as defined in the act, but extends to any matter falling within the jurisdiction of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Saporito v. Publix Super Markets Inc., ARB Case No. 10-073.

The ARB has thereby significantly expanded the number of manufacturers, distributors and retailers whose employees enjoy the whistleblower protections of the CPSIA.

Complainant Thomas Saporito had been a maintenance technician in the dairy production area of a facility operated by respondent. Claiming that he had been subjected to a hostile work environment and eventually terminated in retaliation for having complained to supervisors about potential contamination of milk products, Saporito sued under the CPSIA's whistleblower protection provision, 15 U.S.C. § 2087.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declined to investigate Saporito's claim, noting that food products are expressly excluded from the definition of a "consumer product" under the CPSIA and therefore outside the scope of the CPSIA.

The administrative law judge (ALJ) agreed with OSHA, holding that Saporito's claims involved matters regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and were therefore not covered under the CPSIA.

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.