OSHA's New Whistleblowing Requirements: How To Steer Clear Of Legal Missteps Amid Increased Employee Protections
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Are you at risk of an OSHA whistleblower investigation? Make sure you’re aware of new rules impacting the management of employee complaints!
When an employee reports a questionable employment practice or conduct of his or her coworkers, supervisors or company executives, he or she is entitled to whistleblowing protection under a number of federal laws, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other statutes.
In September 2016, after an increase in whistleblower claims last year, OSHA released new requirements governing settlement agreements. The provisions address “gag” terms, or terms of the agreement that seek to discourage whistleblowing or employees’ involvement in OSHA investigations.
Employers that seek to include settlement agreement language that expressly bars workers from taking part in OSHA investigations or to inform the employer when they do, could be in for a host of new legal liabilities.
OSHA has also implemented new anti-retaliation protections, which bar employers from discouraging employees from reporting workplace illnesses or injuries, in effect as of November 1, 2016.
Join us for an in-depth webinar led by a founding partner of the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Conn Maciel Carey, featuring live Q&A on the practical impact OSHA’s latest provisions on workplace whistleblowing will have on your organization.
It’s imperative for employers to get a handle on the types of employment actions that could spark whistleblower investigations by OSHA or another federal agency, and the potential legal consequences the organization could face for its missteps when responding to employees’ complaints about allegedly unlawful, unsafe, or unscrupulous workplace conduct or practices.
About Your Presenter:
- The scope of whistleblower protections under myriad federal employment laws, including the OSH Act, Title VII, and more
- The practical impact of OSHA’s new anti-retaliation protections, in effect as of November 1, 2016, including answers to pressing questions on OSHA's interpretation of company post-injury drug testing and employee safety incentive program, as well as general disciplinary actions
- Strategies to prevent whistleblower claims in the first place
- How OSHA’s newly released requirements pertain to whistleblower settlement agreements
- How to effectively respond to OSHA whistleblower inquiries
- Best practices for defending your company against OSHA enforcement actions stemming from whistleblowing-related issues
- And more!
Kara M. Maciel, Esq.
Conn Maciel Carey
Kara Maciel is chair of Conn Maciel Carey’s national Labor Employment Practice Group. She focuses her practice on representing employers in all aspects of the employment relationship. Ms. Maciel works to create workplace solutions for her clients across all industries. She defends employers in litigation at both the federal and state levels, including matters related to ADA, FLSA, FMLA, OSHA, Title VII, and affirmative action/OFCCP regulations. She advises clients regarding the protection of trade secrets and the misappropriation of confidential or proprietary information, both defending employers and pursuing enforcement against former employees. When relevant, Ms. Maciel provides advice and counsel to unionized and non-unionized workplaces regarding the employer’s rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Ms. Maciel counsels employers on how to develop lawful strategies to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Ms. Maciel is a popular speaker at conferences and events across the country and writes extensively on issues related to ADA accessibility, wage hour compliance, ACA strategies, prevention of harassment and discrimination, tip credit/tip pools/service charge compliance, effective employment policies and procedures, developing a compliant employee handbook, effective strategies for labor relations, and managing a unionized workforce. Prior to founding Conn Maciel Carey, she served as Chair of the Hospitality Employment and Labor Law Outreach Practice at an Am Law 200 firm.
Ms. Maciel received a 2014 Burton Award for Legal Writing for coauthoring the article “For Employers with High Turnover and Large Numbers of Seasonal Workers, the ACA Creates Unique Compliance Issues.” Ms. Maciel was also recommended in the Labor-Management Relations category of The Legal 500 United States (2013) and selected for inclusion in Washington, DC Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
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|Keywords For This Course:|
whistleblowing, EEOC, DOL, OSHA, retaliation, workplace safety
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