Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Department of Labor announced last week OSHA will oversee the processing of worker retaliation complaints filed under two new whistleblower statutes – the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
Under the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act, OSHA will investigate whistleblower complaints alleging retaliation for reporting antitrust violations to managers or the federal government, or for other protected activity included assisting with an investigation or proceeding related to antitrust law violations.
In Anti-Money Laundering Act cases, OSHA will investigate whistleblower retaliation complaints for reporting money laundering-related violations to managers or the federal government, or for other protected activity included assisting with an investigation or proceeding related to antitrust law violations.
Until OSHA issues interim final rules, the agency will process whistleblower complaints related to these statutes using standardized procedures developed for AIR21 (the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century).
These two additions will bring the total number of OSHA-investigated whistleblower statutes to 24, including Section 11(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970. While most of the claims OSHA investigates are under Section 11(c) of the OSH Act, the whistleblower provisions of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 have created many expensive, heavily litigated claims against employers, particularly in the financial services industry. These new whistleblower statutes could create a new wave of expensive litigation for large employers.