OSHA Issues Anti-Retaliation Interim Rule
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration published an interim final rule establishing procedures and timeframes for handling employee retaliation complaints under the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act.
Enacted Dec. 23, 2020, CAARA prohibits employers from retaliating against covered individuals.
The new rule became effective Feb. 10, 2023. It specifically prohibits employers from retaliating against employees, contractors, sub-contractors, and agents of employers engaged in protected activity.
U.S. Department of Labor officials said the agency will work with the Department of Justice to enforce CAARA to ensure whistleblowers are protected from retaliation.
For example, if an employer were to take what is considered a retaliatory action for filing an OSHA complaint, the employer could be subject to the penalties even if the complaint proved to be frivolous.
Companies should be especially careful of this statute since whistleblower complaints filed with OSHA constitute more than 76% of all whistleblower complaints filed with the federal government.
Employers should submit comments to OSHA’s Federal eRulemaking Portal, Docket Number OSHA-2021-0011 by April 23, 2023.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery.
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