Carney R. Shegerian, founder of Shegerian & Associates, a Santa Monica-based law firm specializing in employee rights, has issued a statement commending the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for creating a new Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee to make recommendations to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the agency’s Whistleblower Protection Program.
In 2012, a total of 2,787 whistleblower complaints – the largest number in history – were filed with OSHA, according to new data published on the agency’s Whistleblower Protection Program webpage. Over the past year, OSHA issued a number of regulations setting forth procedures for handling retaliation complaints under the whistleblower provisions of several statutes, and created the 15-member Advisory Committee.
“Retaliation against and harassment of truth-telling public servants, as with whistleblowers in the corporate sector, has been an all-too-common scenario,” said Shegerian, “and has caused would-be whistleblowers to keep concerns to themselves for far too long. We applaud OSHA for taking a major step forward in terms of protecting the brave whistleblowers from termination and/or discrimination and also for creating an advisory group to help police these policies.
Shegerian warns that whistleblowers that report wrongdoing – whether they are employed within government or the private sector, can and should be protected by law, and he warns organizations that any form of discrimination or termination of these truth-telling employees can lead to harsh financial consequences or worse.
Landis is seeking repayment of the roughly $30 million in U.S. Postal Service sponsorship money, as well as additional penalties and reimbursement of his legal fees.