The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a final rule that makes the procedures for handling whistleblower retaliation complaints under the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 and six environmental statutes consistent with retaliation complaint procedures under other OSHA whistleblower provisions.

The new regulation allows workers to file complaints not only in writing, but also orally and in other languages, similar to other whistleblower provisions. This approach improves access to the complaint-filing process for workers who may have difficulty submitting written complaints, says OSHA. Additionally, workers will receive copies of documents submitted by the employer in response to their whistleblower complaints, subject to applicable privacy and confidentiality laws.

The rule covers workers who voice concerns related to nuclear and environmental safety or security under clean air and water, safe drinking water, solid waste, and toxic substances standards, among others.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of these nuclear and environmental statutes and 14 other statutes protecting workers who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, financial reform, health care reform, pipeline, public transit, railroad, maritime, and securities laws.