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The US Department of Labor (DOL) announced on February 19 that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will begin investigating whistleblower complaints of retaliation under the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Morgan Lewis previously reported on the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act in its December 16 and December 28 LawFlashes, and on the Anti-Money Laundering Act in its January webinar discussing key whistleblower developments in the past year.
Blog AbstractThe Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Administrative Review Board (ARB) recently announced it is updating its electronic filing system (EFS) at 8:30 am EST on December 7, 2020. Beginning December 7, all parties who wish to file electronically must use EFS to file documents electronically with the ARB. The current electronic filing system (EFSR) will shut down permanently at 5:00 PM EST on December 3, 2020. This means that parties will not be able to file documents electronically with the ARB after 5:00 pm EST on December 3 until 8:30 am EST on December 7.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently held a public stakeholder meeting to discuss its Whistleblower Protection Program and how it can improve its administration of the 20-plus whistleblower protection provisions it is responsible for enforcing, including Section 211 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (ERA).
The US Department of Labor’s chief administrative law judge (ALJ) issued an administrative order and notice on June 1, indefinitely suspending all in-person hearings before the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ).
The US Department of Labor (DOL) recently published a new rule to give the Secretary of Labor discretion to review Administrative Review Board (ARB) decisions. In 1996, the Secretary of Labor established the ARB while simultaneously granting it the authority and assigning it the responsibility to issue final agency decisions—after review or on appeal—of matters arising under various worker protection laws, including the many whistleblower protection laws administered by the DOL.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently held a public stakeholder meeting to discuss its Whistleblower Protection Program and how it can improve its administration of the 20-plus whistleblower protection provisions it is responsible for enforcing, including Section 211 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (ERA).
The NRC recently issued its Allegation Program Annual Trends Report analyzing regional, national, and site-specific allegation trends for calendar year 2019. The report shows a decrease of almost 50% in total allegations between 2015 and 2019.
The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s recent favorable decision in Lemon v. Norfolk Southern Railway Corporation, announced its rejection of the chain-of-events theory of causation in whistleblower cases. In doing so, the Sixth Circuit joins the DOL’s Administrative Review Board (ARB) in rejecting this theory of causation. These decisions, while announced in cases brought under the Federal Rail Safety Act (FRSA), will also apply to cases under Section 211 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (ERA) because it contains the same “contributing factor” causation standard as the FRSA.
One threshold issue in whistleblower cases involving alleged retaliation is whether a complainant who is not a direct employee is nonetheless a “covered employee.” Under the employee protection provisions found in the several environmental statutes administered by the US Department of Labor (DOL), including, but not limited to, the Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, and Toxic Substances Control Act (collectively, the Environmental Statutes), the DOL’s Administrative Review Board (ARB) has applied two tests to answer this question.
The US Department of Labor’s chief administrative law judge (ALJ) issued a supplemental administrative order on April 10, extending the suspension of in-person hearings before the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ).