The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on February 19 published an interim final rule establishing procedures and time frames for handling retaliation complaints under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). OSHA invites the public to submit comments on the interim final rule.
FSMA, signed into law January 2011, provides employees who disclose information about a possible violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act with protection against retaliation from businesses engaged in the manufacture, processing, packing, transporting, distribution, reception, holding or importation of food.
This interim final rule establishes procedures, burdens of proof, remedies and statutes of limitations similar to other whistleblower protection statutes that OSHA administers.
Individuals may submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, via mail or facsimile. See the Federal Register notice for details. Comments must be submitted by April 14.
OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various workplace, commercial motor vehicle, airline, nuclear, pipeline, environmental, railroad, public transportation, maritime, consumer product, motor vehicle safety, health care reform, corporate securities, food safety and consumer financial reform regulations.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.