Ehstoday 2975 Businesshandshake

New Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee to Meet Jan. 29

Jan. 7, 2013
The new Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee, which was created in 2012 to advise, consult and make recommendations to improve OSHA’s whistleblower protection programs, will meet for the first time on Jan. 29. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis also revealed the committee members, who represent labor, management and the public.

The first meeting of the Department of Labor’s Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC) will convene Jan. 29 in Washington, D.C., to make discuss, among other recommendations, improving regulations governing OSHA investigations.

The WPAC was created in 2012 to advise, consult with and make recommendations to the secretary of labor and the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health on ways to improve the fairness, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of OSHA’s whistleblower protection programs.

"Protecting workers who identify wrongdoing is an essential cornerstone of the U.S. Department of Labor's worker protection enforcement efforts," said Solis. "The members of the whistleblower committee, who represents the interests of labor, management and the public, will utilize their expertise to provide valuable advice and recommendations to help OSHA strengthen and improve our whistleblower protection program."

In addition to revealing the first WPAC meeting date, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis also announced the committee’s inaugural appointees. The 12 voting and three ad-hoc members will serve 2-year terms. The committee will meet at least twice a year.

Three members represent the public:

  • Jonathan Brock, retired associate professor, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington; and chairman, Hanford Concerns Council
  • Richard Moberly, associate dean, University of Nebraska
  • Emily Spieler, Edwin W. Hadley professor of law, Northeastern School of Law (chairperson)

Four members represent management:

  • David Eherts, vice president and chief safety officer, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
  • Gregory Keating, shareholder, co-chair of the whistleblowing practice group and member of the board of directors, Littler Mendelson P.C.
  • Marcía Narine, visiting professor at the University of Missouri; and compliance consultant, MDO Partners
  • Kenneth Wengert, C.S.P., A.R.M., director of safety, environment and business continuity planning, Kraft Foods

Four members represent labor:

  • Ava Barbour, associate general counsel, International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
  • Eric Frumin, health and safety director, Change to Win
  • Billie Garde, partner, Clifford & Garde LLP
  • Nancy Lessin, program director, United Steelworkers' Tony Mazzocchi Center for Health, Safety and Environmental Education

One member represents OSHA state plans:

  • Christine Dougherty, discrimination investigator, Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry

Three non-voting members represent federal agencies:

  • Rina Tucker Harris, enforcement attorney, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • John Van Steenburg, chief safety officer, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
  • Jason Zuckerman, senior legal advisor, U.S. Office of Special Counsel

The Jan. 29 meeting will be held at the Labor Department's Frances Perkins Building in Washington, D.C., to make recommendations regarding the development and/or implementation of better customer service to workers and employers, improvement in the investigative and enforcement processes, improvement of regulations governing OSHA investigations, and recommendations for cooperative activities with federal agencies responsible for areas also covered by the whistleblower protection statutes enforced by OSHA.

For more information on how to participate, read the Federal Register notice.

Sponsored Recommendations

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)

March 28, 2024
ISO 45001 certification – reduce your organizational risk and promote occupational health and safety (OHS) by working with SGS to achieve certification or migrate to the new standard...

Want to Verify your GHG Emissions Inventory?

March 28, 2024
With the increased focus on climate change, measuring your organization’s carbon footprint is an important first action step. Our Green House Gas (GHG) verification services provide...

Download Free ESG White Paper

March 28, 2024
The Rise and Challenges of ESG – Your Journey to Enhanced Sustainability, Brand and Investor Potential

Work Safety Tips: 5 Tactics to Build Employee Engagement for Workplace Safety

March 13, 2024
Employee safety engagement strategies have become increasingly key to fostering a safer workplace environment. But, how exactly do you encourage employee buy-in when it comes ...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!