OSHA established a final rule that creates procedures for handling retaliation complaints under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
The rule, which was issued April 18, also explains burdens of proof, remedies and statute of limitations similar to other existing whistleblower protection rules.
“Food industry workers must never be silenced by the threat of losing their jobs when their safety or the safety of the public is at stake,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “This rule underscores the agency’s commitment to protect the rights of workers who report illegal activity in their workplace.”
The Food Safety Modernization Act, which was established in January 2011, protects whistleblowers who report potential violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act from retaliation by their food industry employers.
OSHA’s final rule follows an interim rule it issued in 2014, and factors in public comments, clarifies its policy on settlement agreements and improves language consistency with other OSHA whistleblower rules and applicable case law.