OSHA FSMA Whistle Blower Protection

FSMA added to the list of 22 programs now afforded Whistleblower Protection by the US Department of Labor under OSHA.

AFIA wrote about this topic in a FSMA update last May, summarizing as follows:

Labor Department Issues New FSMA Rule to Protect Workers from Retaliation”

… On April 15, the Department of Labor issued a final whistleblower rule through its Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The rule implements an otherwise obscure provision of FSMA that some companies may overlook at their peril.


Spelling Out Steps for Processing a Complaint

Section 402 of FSMA spells out requirements aimed at ensuring workers across the supply chain–from manufacturers to retailers–are protected from retaliation by their employers for “blowing the whistle” on illegal activity. OSHA’s new rule spells out several things, including how employees should file complaints for retaliation, what steps companies and the government must take in response to a complaint and what the burden of proof is for bringing a successful action.


One of the most important aspects of the rule to keep in mind is that employees who file complaints under the new rule are protected if they have a “”reasonable belief,” which is defined in the new regulation as a “subjective, good faith belief and an objectively reasonable belief,”” the conduct they are complaining about violates the law.” (AFIA FSMA Update May 4, 2016)


An OSHA fact sheet on “Filing Whistleblower Complaints under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act” can be found at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3714.pdf