The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a final rule establishing procedures for handling whistleblower retaliation complaints under the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010.
Established under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the CFPA protects employees against retaliation for reporting potential violations of consumer financial protection laws to their employer, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or any other law enforcement or regulatory agency.
The act came on the heels of the Great Recession in which several banks and financials institutions were deemed at fault for failure to follow established procedures and laws, and in which an environment existed in many cases that caused employees who had knowledge of these actions to not report them to the proper authorities.
This final rule establishes procedures, burdens of proof, remedies and statutes of limitations similar to other whistleblower protection statutes that OSHA administers. The rule implements statutory requirements created by Congress and creates no new obligations for employers or employees.
OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of 22 statutes protecting employees who report violations of various workplace, commercial motor vehicle, airline, nuclear, pipeline, environmental, railroad, public transportation, maritime, consumer product, motor vehicle safety, health care reform, corporate securities, food safety and consumer financial reform regulations.
“Whistleblowers serve as a check on the government and business, shining a light on illegal, unethical or dangerous practices that otherwise may go uncorrected,” said David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. “This final rule protects employees of private financial institutions and businesses who stand up for what is right when the integrity of our financial system is being threatened.”
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.