Patton Boggs Insights - December 2012: Agencies: OSHA Launches Whistleblower Pilot Program

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In October, OSHA announced it was setting in motion a pilot program that would allow complainants who file claims under the agency’s whistleblower protection program to attempt to resolve their issues with their employers through an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process. The program is being implemented in two OSHA regions and offers two voluntary methods of dispute resolution: early resolution and mediation. In a press release, OSHA said that when a whistleblower complaint is filed in one of the pilot regions, the parties will be notified of their ADR options and may work through an OSHA regional ADR coordinator to use these methods.

The program will be piloted in areas served by regional offices in Chicago and San Francisco. The Chicago office serves Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. San Francisco serves California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and other Pacific islands.