NLRB and OSHA Enter Into Agreement to Extend Whistleblower Complaint Filing Period

Friday, May 30, 2014

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

have entered into a program  which provides complainants who are outside the Section 11( c) filing statute of limitations under OSHA another options to have their complaint heard. During the OSHA intake process, complainants seeking to assert an OSHA whistleblower claim often learn that their charge would be untimely under Section 11(c) of OSHA, which establishes a 30-day statute of limitations. One example of a situation where the National Labor Relations Act may help is an instance of employer retaliation for group complaints concerning unsafe working conditions.

The agencies' partnership is designed to ensure that whistleblower complaints are addressed.  Unlike the OSHA 30-day filing deadline, the National Labor Relations Act allows individuals up to six months to file an unfair labor practice.  "OSHA agents will be provided talking points briefly describing the NLRB and providing contact information for use in telephone or in-person conversations with complainants with untimely whistleblower claims. Similar information will be included in OSHA’s letters administratively closing untimely whistleblower charges." Memorandum OM 14-60 (May 21, 2014)

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